A Closer Look At The New Turbo Aire Hand Pump

Crosman announced the new Benjamin Turbo Aire Pump at the 2012 SHOT Show for use with the company’s line of PCP airguns.  These popular guns require fillng an air reservoir up to 3,000 PSI and a hand pump is the least expensive fill option. The tradeoff has always been effort required and the Turbo Aire is Crosman’s patent pending response to that need.

Crosman’s design team put together this closer look for those curious about the unorthodox appearance of the Turbo Aire and how it contributes to making this the best hand pump ever for PCP airguns.

The new Turbo Aire Pump was developed to reduce the effort required to pump up a pre-charged pneumatic airgun, in fact, this is the only manual pump available that can be operated by a person weighing only 120 pounds (competitive pumps require nearly 200 pounds). Competitive pumps are based on a multistage linear pump (like bicycle pumps), where you place your body weight over a piston rod and push down. The problem is at 3,000 psi this requires an excessive amount of weight (or force) to operate. One model we tested required 220 pounds to reach 3,000 psi and most pumps require in access of 200 pounds of force to push the handle down at 3,000 psi. Airgunners, being outdoors types, tend to be relatively trim and this is beyond the weight limit of many. The graph below shows the actual force of a competitive pump increasing on the downward stroke at 3000 psi. It takes a great deal of strength to push down the last 2 inches of this pump and doing it multiple times is exhausting.

 

Below is the same data for the Crosman Turbo Aire pump. Notice the force on the handle builds immediately to a maximum of 100 pounds and levels off. The work done is actually the same between the two pumps (area under the curves), but the Turbo Aire pump does a better job of distributing the force over the stroke of the pump. HOW?! When you press on the handle of the Turbo Aire pump you do not press directly on the piston rod; you are pressing on a system of levers that are specifically designed to minimize the peak force by creating the force profile you see below.

 

The figures below depict the actual relative movement of the handle to the piston. Note that when you press on the handle, your weight is transferred to the outer levers, which are connected to the piston rod and the top of the cylinder.  Comparing the first figure with the last (A with C), Piston distance A is nearly twice the distance of Handle A, whereas, Piston distance C is about 1/5th that of Handle distance C.  The last 2 inches of Handle travel only move the Piston a few thousands of an inch, giving the Turbo Aire Pump its tremendous mechanical advantage.

Finally, the Turbo Aire pump generates less heat than the competitive pumps. There are three primary reasons:

  • Slower compression rate at the end of the stroke
  • Thick, aluminum cylinder required to withstand 3,000 psi pressure absorbs the heat
  • No interconnected stages that preheat the air and transfer the heat to the next stage

The evidence of these improvements can be demonstrated by simply pumping up an airgun. The Turbo Aire can charge an air rifle from 0 to 3,000 psi without resting and the cylinder and base are only mildly warmer afterwards. Competitive pumps actually have a warning to stop pumping after 10 minutes to let the pump cool down before resuming pumping or risk damaging the seals. The base of these pumps becomes excessively hot during operation. By the way, all that heat generated is wasted energy you are expending that is not being used to pressurize your airgun! The Turbo Aire is more thermodynamically efficient.

The Benjamin Turbo Aire is a breakthrough in pump technology to improve the ease of using a manual floor pump to charge your pre-charged pneumatic airguns. Crosman recommends this pump for users weighing at least 130 pounds to assure reasonable operation. The competitive pump manufacturers do not (can not?) make a recommendation.

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