From the Hangars

Testing! Testing! Is this thing on?

Feb 22, 2017

In the world of archives sometimes we archivists are called upon to exhibit the collections we protect. Delta TechOps recently expressed their interest in showing off some old tools used by Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) to repair and maintain the Delta fleet through the years. 

Some of the tools we found relate to testing certain functions of an aircraft and date back to the 1940s! Each tool had a purpose, and in this post I would like to showcase a few of them and what they were used for.

First up, the Insulation Tester!

With “tester” in the name, you know it has a job to do. Delta mechanics used this insulation tester to detect insulation properties, resistance leakage, conductivity of insulating materials, and leakage due to moisture absorption. This Insulation Tester was manufactured by Weston Electrical Instrument Company.

Next we have the Pressure Test Blocking Tool!

That’s a mouthful, but this pressure test blocking tool performed an important function during maintenance of Delta's Douglas DC-6 and DC-7 aircraft. This tool was for testing cabin, wing and tail heater exhaust outlets prior to heater installation. This tool was used in conjunction with a pressure plate and air adapter to block off the top and bottom of an exhaust outlet while conducting a pressure test and correcting any leaks found.

Sometimes you just need to test if something has electricity…enter the Ammeter!

Otherwise known as a galvanometer, the ammeter measures electrical current in circuits. Electric currents are measured in amperes, hence the name. This meter is a d'arsonval galvanometer or moving coil ammeter. It uses magnetic deflection, where current passing through a coil causes the coil to move in a magnetic field.

To maintain an airplane and its ability to fly, it's first important to know what it can do on the ground. Testing with tools was and is an important step in aircraft safety; one that Delta TechOps takes very seriously. A big thank you to our friends over at Delta TechOps and all the Delta AMTs through the years for their continued hard work and dedication! 

You can see all our testing tools and more in our Online Collections

Thank you for reading!

Austin Coleman

Archives Assistant

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