AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, AND FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

What Are Air and Hydraulic Starters?

When it comes to starting up a large engine, such as a gas turbine engine, an air and hydraulic starter plays a vital role. These types of starters are specifically designed to provide the necessary torque and power to initiate the engine's combustion process. To better understand these complex apparatuses, we will delve into the various functions of air and hydraulic starters, exploring how they work and their significance in starting gas turbine engines.

Air Starters

Air starters are pneumatic devices that use compressed air to initiate the rotational motion of an engine. As air starters are known for their durability, reliability, and ability to deliver high torque, they are commonly found in numerous industrial applications, including gas turbine engines, diesel engines, and large marine engines. In this section, we will provide an in-depth review of the three main functions of air starters.

  • Initiating the Rotation: Air starters provide the initial rotational force required to turn the engine's crankshaft. More specifically, they utilize compressed air to generate torque, which in turn rotates the engine's components. This rotational motion then sets the engine's pistons in motion, initiating the combustion process.

  • Overcoming Compression Resistance: In a gas turbine engine, the compression stage requires substantial force to overcome the high-pressure conditions within the combustion chamber. In this way, air starters offer the necessary power to overcome this compression resistance, enabling the engine to start smoothly.

  • Cold-Weather Starting: Air starters are also particularly useful in cold climates or situations where the engine has been idle for an extended period. Their ability to provide high torque even in low-temperature environments ensures reliable engine startup, mitigating potential issues associated with cold weather conditions.

Hydraulic Starters

Hydraulic starters, as the name suggests, utilize hydraulic fluid to transfer power and initiate engine rotation. Often valued for their ability to provide instant torque and consistent performance, these starters are commonly used in heavy machinery, such as large construction equipment and industrial engines. In this section, we will provide an in-depth review of the three main functions of hydraulic starters.

  • Utilizing Hydraulic Pressure: Hydraulic starters leverage hydraulic pressure to generate the rotational force required to start an engine. The process begins by pressurizing the hydraulic fluid to create energy that can be transmitted to the starter's motor. This power is then converted into mechanical energy, initiating the engine's motion.

  • Load Handling Capability: Hydraulic starters are well-suited for applications that require the ability to handle heavy loads during startup operations. The high torque output of hydraulic systems enables them to effortlessly overcome the resistance offered by the engine's internal components, ensuring reliable engine ignition.

  • Constant Speed Control: Hydraulic starters provide precise control over the starting process. By regulating the flow of hydraulic fluid, the speed at which the engine starts can be adjusted as needed. This control ensures a smooth and controlled startup, preventing sudden jolts or excessive stress on the engine.


In summary, air and hydraulic starters are crucial components in the startup process of gas turbine engines and other large industrial machinery. Air starters, powered by compressed air, offer high torque and reliability, while hydraulic starters utilize hydraulic fluid to provide instantaneous torque and precise control over engine startup. As an integral part of various engine systems, we understand that sourcing top-quality starter accessories and replacement parts is paramount. When you need a reputable distributor of such items, connect with the experts at Automatize Aviation.

Automatize Aviation is a leading distributor recognized for its commitment to offering exceptional cost savings on thousands of items by trusted global manufacturers. To get started on the procurement process for any featured listing, we invite you to fill out and submit an RFQ form through our website, or contact a team member via phone or email at your earliest convenience. The experts at Automatize Aviation are here to assist you however they can!


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