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enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • What's the plug pair called?

  • What's the ISO/whatever standard involved?

  • What do they look like close-up?

  • Is it pretty standard today worldwide?

  • Is the plug identical for the hugest airliners as for say commuters?

  • Is the power specs identical for the hugest airliners as for say commuters?

  • Is the plugpair used on any non-aviation (say, industrial) cases?

  • Do some craft have more than one type of plughole (ie, to allow for different airport standards?)

  • And military aircraft?

  • Do any small personal craft (I mean 2-4 seater craft) use the same plugpair, or in some cases do they just use a domestic-like plug (rather as a motorhome may have), or generally do small craft never have this?

enter image description here (found a pic but not a close up of the plug/hole!)

  • Is there a switch (for example, perhaps near the pylon in the first photo?), or a switch near the plug, or does it just hot connect?
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  • $\begingroup$ When you say "small private plane", do you mean a small biz-jet or something smaller like a 172? I know on my 177 there is an external plug but it is primarily for jump-starting and charging, accessing it is behind a screwed down cover on the tail of the aircraft. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Oct 3 at 0:55
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of What is the cable connected to a plane for? $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Oct 3 at 9:54
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    $\begingroup$ It's not a duplicate. $\endgroup$ – bogl Oct 3 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer thanks, i clarified $\endgroup$ – Fattie Oct 3 at 10:26
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    $\begingroup$ It is a duplicate. From the linked answer: "These connectors are standard for all aircraft, as defined in ISO 6858." $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Oct 3 at 11:10
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What's the plug pair called?

I don't think there's an "official" name for it, but it's usually referred to as the "ground power connection" or something similar. Also, there's usually only one connection; only the biggest commercial aircraft need two connections simply because one connection can't supply enough power.

What's the ISO/whatever standard involved?

ISO 6858

What do they look like close-up?

I wasn't able to find a copyright-free picture, but here's a PDF catalog from an aircraft parts supplier that has some pictures. (Note that this catalog also has a bunch of rarer plugs in addition to the common ones.)

Is it pretty standard today worldwide?

The international nature of aviation kind of militates towards better standardization than most other fields. It's not perfect, but you're a lot more likely to find a compatible plug for your plane in a foreign country than you are for, say, your electric razor.

Is the plug identical for the hugest airliners as for say commuters?
Is the power specs identical for the hugest airliners as for say commuters?

The plug is based on what kind of power the airplane needs, rather than the size. So, all airplanes that take 120V 400Hz power will (usually, see above about standardization) have the same plug.

Is the plugpair used on any non-aviation (say, industrial) cases?

No, not that I know of.

Do some craft have more than one type of plughole (ie, to allow for different airport standards?)

It's a pretty big world, so I'm sure that some airplane, somewhere, has multiple plugs.

And military aircraft?

That I don't know. Someone else will have to answer that one.

Do any small personal craft (I mean 2-4 seater craft) use the same plugpair, or in some cases do they just use a domestic-like plug (rather as a motorhome may have), or generally do small craft never have this?

Generally, most small aircraft use 28V DC power, the connector for which can be found in the catalog I linked to.

Is there a switch (for example, perhaps near the pylon in the first photo?), or a switch near the plug, or does it just hot connect?

Generally, the switch is in the cockpit rather than next to the plug, and it's the pilot's job to make sure there's no hot connect/disconnect.

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  • $\begingroup$ WOW. it's like a six-hole thingy. I've used an awful lot of industrial power plugs but never seen one like that ! $\endgroup$ – Fattie Oct 3 at 22:24
  • $\begingroup$ Some aircraft have an AC GPU connection and a separate DC GPU connection. $\endgroup$ – wbeard52 Oct 4 at 4:19
  • $\begingroup$ "Generally, the switch is in the cockpit rather than next to the plug", there is indeed a switch and a security on the cable plug, to prevent hot disconnect at currents about of hundreds of amperes. See: What is the process to disconnect ground electric power before pushback? $\endgroup$ – mins Oct 5 at 10:47

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