Aircraft Tool Users and Collectors > Discussions About Classic Tools for Aircraft

Aircraft specific tools

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Nice to see a new forum section. I must admit I am clueless in aircraft tools. Hopefully someone can fill me in.

What makes a aircraft wrench different from automotive?
Are there fasteners specific to early aircraft?
Do early aircraft have multiple use wrenches like a farm implement wrench?

 Hi Nolan,

Lots of the other guys will speak to this. In terms of the radial engine so I work on, there aren't a ton of specialized tools but when you need one there's absolutely no substitute. The wrenches to take off the cylinders from the center section are strangely shaped even though they are 9/16 end.

Every aircraft from the Wright Flyer to the B-787 has specific fasteners.  Generally they were SAE spec.  The standard of manufacture is better than auto hardware.  National Aeronautical Standard (NAS), and Air Force (That's the way I learned it, some guys use Army) Navy (AN) are what's been accepted since before WW2.  The English used Whitworth on several aircraft. I work on a French built aircraft that is 100% metric. 

I have never seen a multi tool, although during the Barn Storming era, I think pilots and mechanics used whatever they could find.  The odd ball wrenches I have, were fabricated out of used tools I found at the flea markets.  The rest are off the Snap-On truck. You need quality tools because of the tight areas you have to work in.  I did find a set of "Tuffy" screw drivers made in the 1930's that I like a lot. And I've been collecting all the Plomb "WF" stuff I can get. 

The guys in the areas where wartime production of planes and such used to be big find them.   I was sent a torque limiting ratchet used at NAA in the piston powered era.   It's cool but really useless in my world.

      I do not make it a point to collect plane stuff but don't refuse them.

These DBE's by Utica were originally marketed as aerospace wrenches but have since become more known by the high-performance label that Snap-On uses.  They conform to AS954, as I recall a standard for aircraft fastener specs.
I like em because they're nice a long, 0 offset so thin, and the Loc-Rite broaching really grips the fasteners.


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