Lufthansa LEOS receives electric aircraft tug tractor

Goldhofer has delivered the first customer vehicle of the towbar-less electric aircraft tractor Phoenix E to Lufthansa LEOS in Frankfurt. The model was tested at Munich Airport, among other places.

++ This article has been updated. Kindly continue reading below. ++

The Phoenix E has been in use in Munich since January 2021, and further tests took place in Vienna, Zurich and Los Angeles, according to Goldhofer. Now the first customer vehicle has been built at the Memmingen site and delivered to Lufthansa LEOS at Frankfurt Airport.

The Phoenix series are towbarless aircraft tractors that embrace and lift the nose wheel of the aircraft – the assembly and disassembly of the towbar for each towing operation is not required here.

Like its conventionally powered sister models, the Phoenix E can move aircraft up to a take-off weight of 352 tonnes, including wide-body jets. As Goldhofer writes, it should “even be usable for maintenance tow at up to 32 km/h due to its performance”.

The batteries are supplied by Akasol, while the technology Goldhofer calls ‘IonMaster’ operates at 700 volts. Customers can choose the appropriate size for their application from the modular battery system. The thermal management allows “very short charging times” as well as fast and intermediate charging at all common charging points, both AC and DC, with up to 150 kW.

Update 01 December 2022

Lufthansa LEOS, the ground handling specialist of the Lufthansa Group, is expanding the use of electric aircraft tugs at Frankfurt Airport. After the successful use of the first battery-electric Phoenix E from Goldhofer, a second, identically constructed example is now being put into operation – about one year after the first vehicle.

“Our drivers are thrilled with the vehicle,” says Peter Unger, managing director at LEOS. “The figures so far exceed our expectations and have enabled us to take a huge step forward in zero-emission ground handling. So now we want to follow up with a second »PHOENIX« E in order to achieve our goals even faster.”

According to Lufthansa LEOS, it is already considering purchasing more of these vehicles. The first Phoenix E at Frankfurt Airport performed more than 4,000 emission-free pushbacks and maintenance tows in its first nine months.

Source: Info via email, (update)


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