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Starting those who soar for nearly 100 years

Ben Forrest | November 1, 2017

Estimated reading time 6 minutes, 38 seconds.

Gill batteries and the company that makes them are woven deeply into the fabric of the aviation industry, with a history that stretches back nearly a century and a record of continuous innovation that finds them trusted by customers around the world.

What launched in 1920 as the original aircraft equipment battery manufacturer has become a fixture in the industry, thanks in part to its original product–a dry-charged battery that is still produced, and remains highly popular in certain segments of general aviation.

“Testimonials still come in from owners who have flown 10 to 20 years on the same incredible small pink battery,” said David Vega, Gill Battery’s western region sales manager.

7638-44, Pilatus PC-12.
7638-44, Pilatus PC-12.

“For this reason, Gill continues to manufacture dry-charged batteries–in a show of support to customers, long after most of the competition has stopped offering them. However, customers are rapidly upgrading to the new LT Sealed family when they see the superior performance and the value.”

Gill began offering sealed batteries more than 30 years ago and has constantly improved them, upgrading their internal chemistry, packaging, features and applications.

The result is a product line that consistently raises the bar for performance and reliability, with an increasingly diverse collection of aircraft to support. Gill’s sealed batteries are used in hundreds of aircraft types, including all major fixed- and rotary-wing original equipment manufacturer (OEM) platforms and models.

Now, Gill’s venerable sealed battery line includes the LT Series, a meticulously-developed group of valve-regulated batteries that reliably produce superior performance numbers.

“Gill is very fortunate to be part of the Teledyne family of companies,” said J.D. Anderson, general manager for Teledyne Battery Products.

“Teledyne maintains an extensive complement of staff and facilities for research and development. Teledyne’s support, coupled with Gill’s expertise in battery technology, allows Gill to continuously spin out exciting new products and certifications.”

Gill is formally announcing two major product releases for its LT series at this year’s National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Las Vegas.

The models announced are the 7638-44, which is now Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified for variants of the Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprop; and the 7638-44T, which is now released and FAA certified for the variants of Cessna Citation aircraft that include a battery temperature sensor.

Both new products are aimed at supporting business aviation operators with the best value and the best choice. They’re tangible products of Gill’s mission to provide unparalleled service, quality and technical innovation in the aircraft battery market.

The 7638-44 was already available for many other aircraft types and is a top seller, which begs the question: Why go to the time and expense of securing parts manufacturer approval (PMA) and a supplemental type certificate (STC) to offer it for the PC-12?

It’s simple: the industry requested it, and Gill–more than anything else–is in the business of serving the industry.

“I have had a lot of customers asking, ‘When will you be able to sell me an LT sealed battery replacement for my present battery,'” said Kimberly Schmidt, customer service manager for Gill Battery.

“It’s difficult to imagine turning someone away because you don’t have what they want. Fortunately, Gill listens to their customers and I am very happy we can now satisfy the PC-12 need.”

7638-44T, Citation.
7638-44T, Citation.

This battery is now approved for use on the Pilatus PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47, and PC-12/47E variants, as well as scores of other aircraft covered under the original approvals. A full list of supported aircraft is available online or on a specification sheet available at the Gill booth at NBAA (booth number N5113).

Gill’s second new model, the 7638-44T battery for Cessna Citation aircraft, also has the proven LT chemistry at its heart.

Citation owners demand the best performance, and getting stranded on the tarmac or stuck in an aircraft hangar is not an option. Gill’s LT chemistry meets those standards, providing superior results when compared to other lead acid-type batteries, according to spec sheet comparisons.

This battery is said to provide the Citation with higher starting power, higher residual power, and a faster recharge. It is now approved for the following variants: 500, 501, 525, 525A, 525B, 525C, 550, 551, S550, 560, 560XL, 650, 680 and the 750.

So, what’s next for the Gill brand? More of the same innovation that helped it become one of the most revered names in the business aviation community.

“We are approaching our 100th anniversary, and it is because we have a passion for what we do,” said J.D. Anderson. “We intently listen to our customers. We take their wants and needs and provide solutions in the form of innovative products, additional certifications, and service improvements in our distribution network.

“It is no accident that we are known as the aircraft battery company that most reliably starts those who soar. What is next? Continuous evolution in a way that will surprise our competition and delight our customers.”

Gill plans to continue to release additional LT sealed battery models and aircraft certifications in the coming months. In keeping with its mission to be the very best, Gill believes it provides better value than any other lead acid sealed battery on the market.

Aircraft owners, operators and maintenance crews are invited to review published lead acid sealed battery performance numbers against the Gill LT Sealed series and compare them, head-to-head. A full list of Gill distributors and aircraft served is available here.

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