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Fly2HMO
Topic Author
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Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:54 pm

So as some of you know I've been buying a Citation Bravo (not for myself unfortunately) and well I'm glad to say the plane has been finally purchased. However while we complete the import process and all that we're still figuring out other necesseties. One of them that hadn't occurred to me until now is a tug to move it into and out off the hangar.

I figured something like this might be more than enough for our needs:

http://sportys.com/pilotshop/product/14560

We would want something relatively simple, cheap, and preferably compact.

However, I don't know if the unit is long enough to fit under the plane's nose, the plane does have a rather long nose and the nose gear is kind of far back. Also, how reliable/easy to service are these things?

I would be very interested in hearing from those MX or FBO rampers that have used similar tugs.

Thanks in advance for any input!   
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:58 pm

I've never used one of those before, but as you said, the Bravo does have a very long nose. IIRC, when I was doing line service, we had to use full extension on the tow bar to get the bar hooked up to the tug, and even then the tug was very close to the nose of the plane. For the price of that thing, I'd be inclined to look at purchasing a used riding lawnmower/lawn tractor, and having a tow point attached to the front. Then, just buy a towbar and you'd be good to go. I've seen it done before, and it seemed to work well. I'd suggest a golf cart, but I don't think a golf cart would be able to push a Citation (biggest thing I pushed with a golf cart was a TBM700). I'd imagine that would be cheaper than the nearly $5,000 tug you've got there.


-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
N353SK
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:10 pm

 
Goldenshield
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:42 pm

Check your local big city classifieds. Also, Controller.com might have something. IIRC, I saw two bag tugs (which would be better than a lawn mower, as they are about 5,000 lbs heavier.)
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
aogdesk
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:52 pm

My concern with something like that would be that the airplane could get away from you quickly!!! I think I'd opt for a used GSE tug...something that had some beef and mass behind it.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:09 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 1):
For the price of that thing, I'd be inclined to look at purchasing a used riding lawnmower/lawn tractor
Quoting N353SK (Reply 2):
N353SK

Oh duh, I do recall some FBOs using those. Hadn't crossed my mind.

I was thinking maybe even a 500cc quad bike would be more than enough, though maybe a bit too light.

[Edited 2010-07-13 12:09:56]
 
lowrider
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:13 pm

I would not trust an aircraft the size and weight of a Bravo to that sporty's tug. Nor would I go with riding mower type. They may have enough power to get the aircraft moving, but in my opinion, they lack sufficient brakes for stopping quickly. If you don't want to use purpose built equipment, then I would look at something like an older 1/2 ton pickup with a 4.10 rear that you can weld a tow point to both the front and back.
Proud OOTSK member
 
Goldenshield
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:17 pm

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:21 pm

I guess the question should be, how far do you anticipate moving the jet? If you are doing anything more than in/out of the hangar, I'd probably just buy a real tug. Just in/out, I'd go with a lawn tractor, and call it a day.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
Fly2HMO
Topic Author
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:36 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 8):
Just in/out,

That's what it's gonna be 99% of the time.
 
bri2k1
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:37 pm

I can't help it, this is too cool not to share. I have no idea what they cost, but if money wasn't a concern (hahaha), I would get this:

http://www.pricelesstugs.com/aircraft/757FBO.asp
Position and hold
 
donniecs
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:55 pm

Our Lektro tugs have worked great for us, they make a few different models.

http://www.lektro.com/index.asp
Charlie - Gulfstream flight mechanic
 
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Aesma
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:48 pm

New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
corey07850
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:14 am

Maybe it's just me but overlooking something as simple as how to move a plane in and out of the hangar does not bode well for a flight department about to operate what I imagine is their first jet aircraft. Hopefully some other things on your list are creating/revising an ops manual/SOP's and working on your SMS plan that will be mandatory soon.
 
KELPkid
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:30 am

Tug systems tug with a Ford 3.8L V6- can't go wrong. Look in Trade-A-Plane   The Ford 3.8 V6 is a rather common engine in lots of ground equipment-easy to work on.
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
njxc500
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:10 am

Lots of FBO's are starting to use tractors but not the garden style for a jet as stated before. Something like this

http://www.tractorhouse.com/listingsdetail/detail.aspx?OHID=5623125

It has some serious weight and powerful brakes, as well as a good view of what you're doing.

Nick
 
bohica
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:02 am

Quoting lowrider (Reply 6):
I would not trust an aircraft the size and weight of a Bravo to that sporty's tug. Nor would I go with riding mower type. They may have enough power to get the aircraft moving, but in my opinion, they lack sufficient brakes for stopping quickly.


  

I used to work for an FBO a long time ago and I will tell you NEVER use one of those hand tugs advertised in Sporty's (or anywhere else) to tow anything larger than a single engine plane. It's basically you and that putt-putt (as we called it) against the airplane and the heavier the airplane, the bigger the challenge. If the wheels of an airplane gets caught up on a bump or hangar door tracks, the hand tug has a tendency to do a wheelie, slamming into the bottom of the nose of the airplane. The brakes were basically useless on it as well. While riding mowers are more stable, they have a tendency to "jerk" while starting to move and the brakes on them are only made to stop the mower. I know this from experience. Thank God no damage.     

A good suggestion would be to get a Kubota tractor. I used to use them at a commuter airline to tow bag carts as well as to push back fully loaded EMB-120's and Shorts 360's.

Another idea is to find a used baggage tug from an airline. There are also GSE outfits online you can go to. Do a Google search for "Baggage Tugs" and you will find several of them.

Please spend more than the $4795 on a hand tug and get a real tug to move an airplane larger than a single engine plane. In the long run, you will be happy you did.  
 
pilotpip
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:26 pm

If they have the money to buy a Bravo they can spend a couple thousand more for a good tug and towbar or perhaps a used lektro. Even when you're dealing with a lighter jet you're still talking about 8,000 pounds and a garden tractor just doesn't cut it. The money your owners saved would quickly be vaporized when you lose grip and put the rudder in the hangar door.

Tugs are cheap, they're geared low and have a lot of extra ballast to provide traction in slippery conditions.
DMI
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:46 pm

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 13):
Maybe it's just me but overlooking something as simple as how to move a plane in and out of the hangar does not bode well for a flight department about to operate what I imagine is their first jet aircraft.

Yes, it's just you. No point in buying a tractor, building a hangar, etc BEFORE we would've bought the plane  
Quoting pilotpip (Reply 17):
If they have the money to buy a Bravo they can spend a couple thousand more for a good tug and towbar or perhaps a used lektro.

You'd think so, but as with almost all loaded people they are very very stingy. I will probably have to go through another round of months of cost analysis and approvals through every section of management before we can get a hold of a tug   

Anyways, I found this:

http://www.carolinagse.com/product/i...t-tugs-diesel-gas/pushback-tractor

Good enough?
 
pilotpip
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:56 pm

That would work.

As for cost analysis, have the company you're working with for the sale draft up a couple estimates for dinged wing tips, maybe a radome or two...
DMI
 
atct
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:01 pm

Check out the iTowBot
http://itowbot.com/

We use it on the Twin Commander (500) and the Aerostar and she works great. Dont think it'd have a problem with a Bravo. Give em a call.

Clint
Trikes are for kids!
 
KELPkid
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:17 pm

Have you also considered the purchase of a ground power cart for the odd APU INOP start?    Not sure if the Bravo even has an APU, but it would also be handy in the case of a run down battery....I had to use the cart to help start more than one bizjet in my FBO days. Some of the smaller bizjet take 28VDC ground power using the standard three pin connector that piston planes use.
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:49 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 21):
Not sure if the Bravo even has an APU,

It does not. The only way to start it is with the starter/generator. You can't even do a crossbleed start. But it just got a brand new battery in it. And yes a ground cart may be a good idea in the not so long future.
 
YWG
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:01 am

Quoting donniecs (Reply 11):
Our Lektro tugs have worked great for us, they make a few different models.

http://www.lektro.com/index.asp

+1...literally so simple a pilot could work it! Love them!
Contact Winnipeg center now on 134.4, good day.
 
bomber996
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:18 pm

Ford F-350... that's what my FBO uses...

Peace   
"We've recently upped our standards, so up yours." - Federal Aviation Administration
 
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airportugal310
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:29 pm

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 18):
Anyways, I found this:

http://www.carolinagse.com/product/i...t-tugs-diesel-gas/pushback-tractor

Good enough?

We had a few of these at the airline...mainly for bags. Thing was a beast, but it broke down a lot (we did buy it used from an airline at JFK). I think it was built by Harlen

Like I said...a beast...and fun to drive around too!
“They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash.”
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:24 pm

Quoting bomber996 (Reply 24):
Ford F-350... that's what my FBO uses...

Funny you mention that, I was just thinking about using an older, cheap beater truck for the job. And if it breaks, just buy another one.
 
crjfixer
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:59 am

Quoting YWG (Reply 23):
Quoting donniecs (Reply 11):
Our Lektro tugs have worked great for us, they make a few different models.

http://www.lektro.com/index.asp

+1...literally so simple a pilot could work it! Love them!

Agree! Great tugs....Electric, powerful, reliable and i would guess less expensive than most
 
WESTERN737800
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RE: Good Aircraft Tug For A Citation Bravo?

Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:26 pm

As others have said, the hand tugs are a no-no. I would suggest you go to FBOs around your area who move Bravos and other similar sized airplanes on a daily basis and see what they use. The people who are moving them everyday should be able to give ya good advise. I've moved airplanes as big as the citationX and the tug in reply 18 is the one I would prefer the most, its the most similar to what we have. We have a multilink towbar with detachable heads for different airplanes. I think our towbar and head would be right around $1500-2000ish. Our towbar has a shock asorber in it which makes starting and stopping a little smoother. If you dont get a GPU right away, I would check and make sure an FBO on the field can get one to ya when/if you need it. We dont have to jump Citations much, more Lears and Pidagos, but ya never know. Good luck.
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