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Hobart Welding Products has introduced the Airforce 500i and Airforce 700i portable air plasma-arc cutters.

Both units are lightweight and feature an ergonomic trigger safety, more efficient air consumption and economically priced torch consumables.

They both have a cutting performance that directly benefits those working in light industrial applications such as maintenance, light construction, body shops, fabrication and HVAC.

Both the Airforce 500i and 700i come ready with Hobart’s 16.5ft (5m) ergonomic hand-held torch, which provides increased comfort and more efficient post-flow air cooling.

The units come with extra replacement tips (two tips, two electrodes) and a convenient cable-management strap for easy transportation.

When either unit is attached to an air compressor, Hobart’s new HP torch is more energy efficient, using less gas flow/pressure to achieve the same output as previous models.

The Airforce 500i requires a 3.0ft3/min gas flow/pressure at 90-120lb/in2.

The Airforce 700i requires 4.8ft3/min at 90-120lb/in2.

Ideal for light construction, body shops and HVAC ductwork, the Airforce 500i weighs 27.8lb (12.61kg), about half the weight of its predecessor, and has the ability to plug into standard 115 or 230V AC power receptacles using the included Multi-Voltage Plug (MVP) without the need for tools.

Its 27A output offers exceptional cutting performance on sheet metal and 3/8in mild steel, slicing at 14in/min.

The Airforce 500i cuts faster than mechanical or flame-cutting units and beats or matches all other plasma machines in its category.

The 31.4lb Airforce 700i was built for power and offers the largest capacity within Hobart’s line of plasma cutters.

Operating on 230V input power, its 40A output offers a 1/4in to 5/8in rated cut on mild steel and can sever up to 7/8in.

Both the Airforce 500i and 700i incorporate many performance features carried over from previous models.

For example, wind-tunnel technology keeps dust and metal particles from damaging internal components.

Fan-on-demand reduces the amount of airborne material pulled through the unit by turning on the cooling fan only when needed (machines without this feature have a fan that runs continuously).

Power factor correction (PFC) circuitry uses incoming power with a higher efficiency compared with competitive units, drawing 30 per cent less amperage for the same cutting range.

PFC also expands the operator’s work area via an extension cord, while minimising nuisance circuit-breaker trips caused by voltage drops.

LVC line voltage compensation helps Airforce units to maintain a steady arc with full cutting output, even with ‘dirty’ power, where the voltage varies by up to 15 per cent.

Most other units only operate within a 10 per cent window.

The Airforce 500i and 700i finish cuts cleanly by providing a burst of peak performance power to sever the last piece of metal.

This reduces or eliminates the need for grinding.

For added protection during transportation from job site to job site, the rugged design places the air filter and regulator inside the unit’s steel casing.

When it comes to performance while operating off an engine drive’s generator power, no plasma cutter in its class performs better than the Airforce units.

Paired with an engine drive that has a 240V outlet and at least 8kW of generator power, the Airforce 700i can deliver its full cutting capabilities, while the Airforce 500i needs only a 6kW generator for full output.

No other manufacturer offers a better warranty than Hobart does.

The Airforce 500i and Airforce 700i are backed by Hobart’s 5/3/1 warranty, which covers the power source for three years and the HP torches for one year on parts and labour.

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