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falstaff
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What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:49 am

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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.
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FlyHoss
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:53 am

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.

[Edited 2006-12-04 01:56:33]
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madairdrie
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:54 am

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.
Kenneth
 
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EK413
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:55 am

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...

EK413
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crownvic
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:55 am

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
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:22 am

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.
 
DC8FanJet
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:47 am

Main advantage is fuel savings when towing long distances versus taxiing
 
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northwestEWR
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:49 am

CO uses these all the time at EWR. I saw them just a few days ago pulling a CO 752 at high speed over to Terminal C.
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greasespot
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:11 pm

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.

 no ...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.

GS
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jetdeltamsy
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:43 pm

It's a tug. There are ones just like it everywhere.
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BigJimFX
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Mon Dec 04, 2006 3:13 pm

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!
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FriendlySkies
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Mon Dec 04, 2006 3:17 pm

I know UA uses these a lot at ORD to move aircraft from the hangar or from the int'l terminal back to T1. Very cool machine!
 
noelg
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:07 pm

They have something similar in AKL and WLG on the 737s, but they grab the main gear rather than the nose gear. Very strange when you watch them being pushed back from under the wing!
 
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BreninTW
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:23 pm

Quoting Noelg (Reply 12):
They have something similar in AKL and WLG on the 737s

They have them in Christchurch as well -- saw one doing just that when I was there in February. http://public.fotki.com/irltrucks/tr...06/queenstown_oamaru/img_5904.html
 
irishmd11
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:37 am

Quoting BigJimFX (Reply 10):
I believe it's called a Goldhopher

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?

Quoting Greasespot (Reply 8):
You cannot steer from the fligh deck while being towed

Tow bars do break though, there have been "enough" of that happening, what a nightmare it could be...

Gerry
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boacvc10
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:58 am

Quoting IrishMD11 (Reply 14):
the selling price per tug runs near to Chf 1.000.000

For the benefit of the international readers, 1 million Swiss Francs equates to:


Live mid-market rates as of 2006.12.04 15:44:26 UTC.
1,000,000.00 CHF Switzerland Francs = 836,503.02 USD


According to the manufacturer Goldhofer website, the largest model is AST-1 X and is claimed to be powerful enough to pull even the A380. Goldhofer DE website


BOACVC10

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Bongodog1964
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:18 am

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.
 
greasespot
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:42 am

Quoting IrishMD11 (Reply 14):
Tow bars do break though, there have been "enough" of that happening, what a nightmare it could be...

I know. It happened to me twice. Once riding brakes and the other towing.

GS
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?"
 
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tjwgrr
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RE: What Is This Piece Of Equipment?

Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:06 am

Couple of CO's in action:


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Photo © Jeffrey S. DeVore
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Photo © Jernej Verbovsek

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