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1985 – Present
First Generation (1985-89)
The system utilised three basic components; a spring loaded pump cylinder, a non-return valve block, a directional valve, and an actuator. The first generation Pneumatics used single acting actuators, whereby the non-return valve would either apply suction or pressure to the actuator cylinders to apply motion to the model.
Second Generation (1989-92)
A simplified version of the system was released which made use of double acting actuators which applied pressure to either side of the piston, thus dispensing with the non-return valve. The actuator rods were made from shiny metal instead of plastic to make them look like real hydraulic cylinders. One weakness of the system was the pump cylinder, which is notorious for coming apart if the directional valve is placed in the neutral position whilst a heavy load is placed on the actuator.
Third Generation (1992-Present)
The third generation was an enhanced version of the second, and introduced an improved pump cylinder which could be powered by an electric motor, thus adding extra realism to a model.
In 2015, new cylinders of different sizes were introduced as part of the Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245 TECHNIC set.