As a follow up to "What is the measurement system used in the aviation industry?" which specified about measurement units during operations, another question that comes to my mind is: are there differences used in tools for maintenance and repairs for aircraft produced in different countries?

Although things have been standardized these days, in the automotive industry you still get differences in the types of tools that are required for repairs. For example, the old British cars such as Land Rover or MG used imperial spanners until not long ago (3/8, 5/16 etc) whereas other cars used more common metric spanners.

Does this apply also to aircraft? An example that comes into my mind would be the Avro RJ series.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ there are 2 main airliner builder, boeing and airbus, one is american the other is french $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 17:49
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @ratchetfreak dont forget the Canadians (Bombardier) and Brazilians (Embraer) $\endgroup$
    – casey
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 18:16
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    $\begingroup$ @ratchetfreak The British, German and Spanish parts of Airbus might disagree with your characterization. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ @casey this is really strange, Air canada doesn't seem to have any Bombardier in its fleet, but does have Embraer. $\endgroup$
    – Manu H
    Commented Oct 25, 2015 at 11:00

1 Answer 1


According to a friend of mine that has worked as an aircraft mechanic for the last 30 years or so, it depends on the manufacturer. For example:

  • American made aircraft, including Boeing, use SAE sized tools (US standard sizes)
  • Airbus uses metric tools
  • Hawker uses British Standard Whitworth tools
  • Dassault Falcon uses (believe it or not) a combination of SAE and metric.
  • Bombardier uses SAE
  • $\begingroup$ got curious about embraer and bombardier... $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ @woliveirajr I added Bombardier but am not sure about Embraer, although I think that they are SAE too. $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ Hawker is still using Whitworth? Did they get a good deal on surplus fasteners when MG went out of business? $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 19:46

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