vanguard737
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My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:44 am

Tofay started thinking about my days as a ramper at ATA. Push-backs were always my favorite part of the job, but it was quite nerve-racking at times when a plane was at a tight gate or close to another aircraft. Also annoying was when a tug wouldn't fuction correctly, or when my gate didn't have one at all! Then of course there were the two times a ramper backed a plane into something.

SOO: I was thinking of new ways to pushback planes and I came up with this idea: an in-ground system at every gate similar to the wheel-locking mechanism on aircraft carriers. It would be a universal system that would grasp a plane's nosewheel and push it from the gate onto the tarmac area - fully automated, safe, and precisely every time.

Would such an arrangement be possible? It would eliminate the expense of purchasing pushback equipment and fuel for that equipment. It would reduce or eliminate pushback accidents. It would eliminate delays caused by waiting for a tug. It would eliminate pollution caused by tugs (assuming it is electric), etc.

What do you think?
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LONGisland89
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:47 am

If the main gears are not attached as well the aircraft could turn (a tug can correct for this)
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:51 am

Quoting VANGUARD737 (Thread starter):

Would such an arrangement be possible?

Yes.

Quoting VANGUARD737 (Thread starter):
It would eliminate the expense of purchasing pushback equipment and fuel for that equipment.

Sure, but it would add the expense of the system.

Quoting VANGUARD737 (Thread starter):
t would reduce or eliminate pushback accidents.

Maybe.

Quoting VANGUARD737 (Thread starter):
It would eliminate delays caused by waiting for a tug.

Yes, unless the rail is broken at that time.

Quoting VANGUARD737 (Thread starter):
It would eliminate pollution caused by tugs (assuming it is electric), etc.

Local pollution. But the energy needs to be generated somewhere. Unless you're talking clean energy like hydro or wind there will be pollution.

Quoting VANGUARD737 (Thread starter):
What do you think?

I think all original ideas like this need to be looked at. Who knows, you might have something. But I'm not going to hold my breath.,
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
lincoln
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:05 am

Not a bad idea in therory, but in practice I think it would be expensive and create new (not necessarially more, but different) maintenance issues.

Quoting VANGUARD737 (Thread starter):
It would eliminate pollution caused by tugs (assuming it is electric), etc.

This is just one of my little pet peeves... With the exception of some European countries generating most of their power using hydro, etc. Electricity != eliminate pollution. You're just moving pollution away from "here" to wherever the electricity is generated.

Quoting VANGUARD737 (Thread starter):
push it from the gate onto the tarmac area - fully automated, safe, and precisely every time.

 rotfl   rotfl  The only people who beleive that any machinery works percisely every time are sales people. Anything with moving parts (and most things without moving parts) will eventually break in some way. (Or maybe I'm just getting too jaded).

My concerns, other than the reliability (if one tug breaks down it's a minor inconvenience; if this system breaks down, you potentially have an entire airport that's screwed) are exactly how "universal" and "automatic" you can make it

- What about dealing with multiple aircraft types (and the associated clearences) at tight gates? I would imagine that 757-300, for example, requires a lot more room on the ground to safely turn than a DC-9

- What about non-aircraft obstructions? For example, what if someone accidentally leaves a baggage cart behind the wing or a peice of large debris was blown behind main gear?

- What if the system decides that it's time to push the aircraft back before the humans involved are ready? (I.e. while the last bags are being loaded, passengers still up and about, etc?)

Those are just my questions

Lincoln
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Starlionblue
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:07 am

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 3):
The only people who beleive that any machinery works percisely every time are sales people. Anything with moving parts (and most things without moving parts) will eventually break in some way. (Or maybe I'm just getting too jaded).

So true about the salespeople. Also, moving parts are optional. software has no moving parts but breaks down just fine in my experience. Big grin
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:34 am

Not to mention, pushbacks as you well know oftentimes vary....tail south....tail north....straight back.....180 degrees....goes on and on. An inground sustem couldn't compensate for all the desires of the Captain, and all of the possible scenarios at the airport.

DeltaGuy
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vanguard737
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:40 am

There are plenty of "what-ifs" here, as with EVERY new invention and idea. I think it's important to think of how these issues could be tackled rather than crap on the idea before testing it - but that's just me!  Smile


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ex52tech
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Wed Dec 13, 2006 12:52 pm

Quoting VANGUARD737 (Reply 6):
issues could be tackled rather than crap on the idea before testing it - but that's just me!

Your not getting sensative on us.......are ya.
The airplane would have to be lined up perfectly in order for it to be pushed back straight, or in order for the system to allign with the nose wheel tow lug. Which wouldn't be a problem for most of the "perfect" pilots that I've met. How about ice and snow? How about the people you put out of work?
"Saddest thing I ever witnessed....an airplane being scrapped"
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:24 pm

What about in case of malfunction.What Back up.
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jetmech
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:30 pm

Quoting VANGUARD737 (Thread starter):
What do you think?

I very vaguely seem to remember some sort of system similar to your idea already in operation. I think it was in Scandinavia somewhere and was being used for ground handling of DC9 / MD80 type aircraft?

Regards, JetMech
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Tristarsteve
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:39 pm

Quoting VANGUARD737 (Thread starter):
an in-ground system at every gate similar to the wheel-locking mechanism on aircraft carriers.

There is one at ARN Terminal 2 on gate 63. It was designed to do straight pushbacks only, which are the norm here. The system was installed as a trial when the terminal was built 15 years ago, but is not in use today. Also in T2 on gate 67 is a built in Fuel dispenser. This is also not used, but is in working order. The refueller uses a magnet to raise a box from the ground hydraulically, and it contains the hoses and control panel to refuel the aircraft.
Both systems were installed by the airport authority, who wanted the handling agents to pay rent to use them. They declined, and they are not in use.
ARN T2 was built on the principle of no vehicles on the ramp. There are boxes built into the ground which are raised hydraulically and can provide water and toilet service, ground power, air conditioning, and engine start air. The engine start is supplied from an enormous tank underground, pressurised by electric compressors. It is silent in operation!!!
There were also baggage delivery conveyors to each gate, and rollers that could be pulled out so the bags went straight from check in to hold.
Unfortunately, two years after the terminal opened, SAS pulled out and it was converted from domestic to international and most systems went out of use.
But we still use the ground power, air condtioning, and water service from the underground supplies.
The designers of LHR T5 came to look at it, and were very impressed, but decided that it was too expensive and are only going to install ground power and air conditioning.
 
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jetmech
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Thu Dec 14, 2006 8:39 am

Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 10):
There is one at ARN Terminal 2 on gate 63. It was designed to do straight pushbacks only, which are the norm here.

Hey TristarSteve  Smile. How exactly does this system work? It sounds like a good idea but I am having trouble figuring out how any backwards movement is achieved. The only way I can think of so far to achieve a push-back is if the system pushes back by gripping the main undercarriage  Confused

Regards, JetMech
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PPVRA
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:09 am

What about extending this system all the way to the runways?

Cuts fuel consumption by a lot considering how many times I've spent over 30 minutes waiting for take-off on busy airports.

Two or three minutes before take-off (completely predictable - unless weather is the issue), the pilot fires off the engines and soon after takes-off.

Nearly all ground incidents/accidents could be avoided while saving money and pollution.
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Starlionblue
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:38 am

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 12):
What about extending this system all the way to the runways?

Cuts fuel consumption by a lot considering how many times I've spent over 30 minutes waiting for take-off on busy airports.

Two or three minutes before take-off (completely predictable - unless weather is the issue), the pilot fires off the engines and soon after takes-off.

There was a thread about this. Or at least about tugs all the way. Imagine the infrastructure. And what if a plane has to turn back when it's on the rail?

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 12):

Nearly all ground incidents/accidents could be avoided while saving money and pollution.

As was stated before, unless you use clean energy you are simply moving the pollution elsewhere. As for money savings, I don't know. The investment would be huge.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
A346Dude
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:45 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 13):
As was stated before, unless you use clean energy you are simply moving the pollution elsewhere.

True, but as the electricity would be produced at a large generating station with higher efficiency than tugs, the net pollution should be reduced.
You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
 
cirrusdriver
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:54 pm

FUNNY that you should bring this up!! I work for UAL in PHX. I spoke to an engineer for the city of PHX who was out at T2. I asked him about a pushback system almost exactly like the one you mentioned, like that on an A/c carrier. His response was, "have you every seen that system below the deck of an aircraft carrier"? It would be far to expensive to build and maintain, was the point he was making. I agree with the concept though.
 
Tristarsteve
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Thu Dec 14, 2006 8:55 pm

Quoting JetMech (Reply 11):
Hey TristarSteve . How exactly does this system work? It sounds like a good idea but I am having trouble figuring out how any backwards movement is achieved. The only way I can think of so far to achieve a push-back is if the system pushes back by gripping the main undercarriage

No, it works on the nosewheel.
I have never seen it used, but I have seen the unit. There is a steel track down the centreline. A machine sits on this track. It looks like a box about 2mx1mx1m, and attaches to the nose gear. It moves down the track and pushes the aircraft out. The attach point moves left and right inside the box to keep the aircraft on the centreline.
Like most of the technology tried on this terminal, I think the investment is too high for the savings.
 
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jetmech
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:46 pm

Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 16):
The attach point moves left and right inside the box to keep the aircraft on the centreline.

What a clever arrangement! I had vague thoughts along the lines of such a device but was not too sure if it would work. Do you know how the system senses that the plane may be getting off the centre-line?

I don't know how I recalled the existence of such a system. All I remember is that many years ago I saw some photo of a DC9 on a frosty day and the mention of some sort of automated system  scratchchin . I somehow associated it with a location in Scandinavia.

Regards, JetMech
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JAGflyer
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:25 am

Wouldnt the plane have to be taxiied EXACTLY into position for it to work? I dont think this would work.
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Tristarsteve
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Fri Dec 15, 2006 2:30 am

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 18):
Wouldnt the plane have to be taxiied EXACTLY into position for it to work? I dont think this would work

Yes, but our gates are all self parking with centreline and stop guidance. The aircraft are Always on the centreline within 10cm., and 99% stop on the stopline. We have jetbridges that only go in and ouit, so accurate parking is a neccessity.
 
ReidYYZ
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Sat Dec 16, 2006 11:36 am

My first thought was problems with snow, slush, ice or freezing rain. Was it a problem in ARN before they stopped using it?

Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 10):
There is one at ARN Terminal 2 on gate 63
 
United767
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:41 pm

I thinkits a good concept, but being on the ramp aside from the 1 or 2 pushes a week that are nerve racking, it is the part of the job I enjoy the most. I would miss it.
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Ratzz
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RE: My Idea For Push-Back Ops...

Wed Dec 27, 2006 6:39 am

-The fixed pushback system at ARN worked like a clockwork since the ramparea is heated so it never freezes,it just gets wet.
-The system acutally was in use as late as 1994,after wich a minor incident happend as a 40 ton Paymover accidentaly bumped into it and the unit was removed shortly after that.

-When it come to all the other equippment stowed away undernieth the ramp,all gates at terminal 2 with the exception of gate 69,has servicing pillboxes for water,waste,aircondtioning,heating,startair,ac power,and fuel.
-The only ones never used today is waste and fuel.

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