Falstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6434 posts, RR: 30 Posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6464 times:
What is the piece of equipment in front of this NW DC-9? It looks like it is surrounding the front wheels. It looks like a push back truck of some sort, but I have not seen anything like that push out a DC-9 before. I probably have seen them before and never really paid attention. What would be the advantage of using a truck like this as opposed to a truck with a bar attached to it?
Sorry for the poor quality photo, but I took it out of window a neighboring DC-9.
FlyHoss From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 598 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6450 times:
It's a "Supertug." It does lift the nose gear off the ground. One advantage is that the Supertug is able to tow at a relatively high speed, thus relieving the need for a taxi qualified mechanic (there have been taxi related damages to various aircraft over the years).
I'm not sure of the actual name, but they are referred to as "Supertugs" at my carrier.
Madairdrie From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2006, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6441 times:
It is a push back truck they are very common at LHR. They lift the front wheel of the plane up. They can adjust to various planes by gripping the front wheel so there is nothing to attach to the plane so will be easier to use, without having to look for correct tow bar, and probably faster at diconecting from plane. However I have no idea if that is the reason they are actually used or not, or if they are any other reason.
Crownvic From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2325 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6441 times:
It is a tug used to push back or for long taxi trips across the airport usually to maintenance or long term parking away from the terminal area..Very popular in Europe and Asia. The tug approaches the nose gear and a large claw or clamp attaches to both sides of the wheel hub and lifts the wheelstrut up and then lowers it onto a flat ramp just behind the driver, and then its off to wherever they have to go with it.....
474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6310 times:
Quoting EK413 (Reply 3): Its a tug...The advantage is you dont require anyone (but I believe there always is someone to apply the brakes etc) in the cockpit to steer the aircraft...
Your right it is a tug, a tow bar less tug. However, even if you use a tug and standard tow bar, you do not need anyone in the flight station to steer the airplane. Most of the time the torques links are disconnected so you could not steer the airplane from the flight station if you tried.
Greasespot From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 3104 posts, RR: 19
Reply 8, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6148 times:
Quoting 474218 (Reply 5): However, even if you use a tug and standard tow bar, you do not need anyone in the flight station to steer the airplane
You cannot steer from the fligh deck while being towed...Unless the tow bar breaks In most cases you have to disconnect the stearing hydraulically to tow as there is a centering cam and the hydraulic pressure would not allow the tug to turn. The guy in the cockpit is just to ride the brakes in case the tow bar breaks
Quoting 474218 (Reply 5): Most of the time the torques links are disconnected so you could not steer the airplane from the flight station if you tried.
...From all the AC i have worked on only the B727 you disconnect the Torque Links for towing....Most aircraft have a vertical red strip in the gear
doors. This is a mark for the person towing. It is is visual incidation as to maximun turing arc of the nose gear. Simply the tow bar should not turn past the red line.
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
BigJimFX From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 321 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5923 times:
I believe it's called a Goldhopher. As mentioned above it is a towbarless tug. It puts the nosegear on a small ramp on the tug. "Grabs" the nosegear and pulls the tug into a position to secure the nosegear. It's used to pushback the aircraft, and can tow it at high speeds. I've been told by a mechanic that it can tow a 777 at up to 30MPH. The problem is stopping it. It requires no one to be in the aircraft "riding brakes" So far I've seen it tow a 777, 767, 757, and 737. Very cool to watch!
Goldhofer, (http://www.goldhofer.de/english/produkte/airport/produkte-airport.php) the manufacturer's name would be just a little more correct...have em here at GVA too, apparently the selling price per tug runs near to Chf 1.000.000! How much can a tow bar incident cost?
Bongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 4306 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5459 times:
One great advantage is that its far easier to use
In effect you have only one articulation, anyone who has ever reversed a trailer will know. You turn onto opposite lock to start the turn, and then reverse the lock to continue through.
With a towing bar you have an articulation at both ends of the bar, thus you need to be very skilled working the steering to get the tug, the bar and the plane heading in the correct direction. you have to change steering lock twice in the turn to end up pointing the right way. Its all too easy to end up with the bar at right angles to the plane.