Tbanger From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 266 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2845 times:
Been using them in SYD Domestic terminals and I also believe MEL for a couple of years now. Rather than have a tow driver and a starter, you just have the starter do both as the tug is remote controlled.
The main reason is that all you have to do is turn the wheel. There is no need to lift the aircraft or steer so the machine is much simpler.
I had it demonstrated in ARN about 10 years ago, but we ended up with TBL instead.
Curmudgeon From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 695 posts, RR: 22 Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2740 times:
That unit is called a "Power Push", and is in fact remote controlled. The engineer conducting the pushback does require good communication with the pilot, and simple commands like "steer left" etc are used.
The unit attaches to the main gear, drives on command, and detaches itself and drives away, all by remote.
There is a seat and conventional controls that is used for driving the unit between gates.
These were sold as a cheaper alternative to tugs and tow bars and a driver + engineer. Industrial and other factors have limited their widespread use. I don't know how they perform in snow.
Airfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2703 times:
The unit is located behind the main landing gear so wouldn't it be pulling rather then pushing? Also, the engine seems to be running, that would be a very windy place to be sitting if the thing had a driver..
That is its best feature. The Mainwheels stay on the ground, and the Powerpush just rotates them. The problem with a TBL is that it lifts the nosegear and then drives out. On many aircraft the weight on the nosewheel is very small, and we used to have trouble getting traction. We have now got rough gravel glued to the pushback area to get a grip.
A normal towbar tractor is much better as it weighs so much, but a TBL is very light weight and needs the aircraft weight to get a grip.
Pihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 3496 posts, RR: 72 Reply 10, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2601 times:
The powerpush is generalised on AF stations in France for the single-aisle fleet.The economical savings are quite enormous as they use very little power for the job and only one operator.
This is how we use it :
1/Connect the PPU -as it is called - to the left gear.The motor turn a set of rollers, which, being in contact with the tyres, force them to turn, therefore moving the aircraft.
2/Start engine #2 in order to get some hydraulic power.
3/Commence push. The pilot indicates the direction to which the nose will point and the ckeared taxiway line colour (here in CDG, we have a yellow centerline and a blue and an orange).
the operator then directs the pilot with clear steering indications : "Steer left...more left...less left...tiller to neutral..."
4/Disconnect the PPU
5/Start #1 engine.... and away you go!
Plese note that the nose gear safety pin remains in place all the time.