Goldhofer’s Electric Towbarless Aircraft Tractor Passes Test
The electric version of the AST-2 towbarless tow tractor, the ‘PHOENIX’, which was unveiled at inter airport Europe 2019, has successfully completed the test phase and is now ready for action on the airport apron.
‘PHOENIX’ is the flagship product among Goldhofer’s towbarless aircraft tractors. It is a powerful performer, offering speeds up to 32 km/h for maintenance tows. This unit also offers some of the best versatility in its class, handling the full range of today’s aircrafts with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 352t. It’s no wonder that the ‘PHOENIX’ is one of the best-selling tow tractors on the market. The challenge for the Goldhofer engineers in developing the battery-powered ‘PHOENIX’ E was to produce an electric version to match the existing diesel tractor.
With the ‘PHOENIX’ E battery-powered aircraft tow tractor, Goldhofer is writing a new chapter in the field of sustainable ground handling. As an alternative to the original diesel-powered tractor, Goldhofer now offers not only an all-electric version with a modular battery concept with a capacity of 66 – 165 kWh but also a hybrid solution with 66 kWh battery capacity and a range extender.
The ‘PHOENIX’ E boasts the same range of performance in terms of tractive power, maneuverability and reliability as the diesel version, and offers additional advantages such as lower operating costs and longer maintenance cycles. Like its diesel-powered counterpart, the ‘PHOENIX’ E is capable of handling all aircraft with up to 352 t MTOW – with the power delivered by a 220 kW direct drive designed for reliable aircraft handling at towing speeds of up to 32 km/h. A triple-circuit braking system ensures excellent tracking performance and maximum travel safety at all times. The virtually maintenance-free pickup, the extremely tight turning circle and the reliability achieved with robust and durable components from premium manufacturers help set the benchmark in this new class of tow tractors.
The ‘PHOENIX’ E also comes with Goldhofer’s tried-and-tested ‘IonMaster’ technology. The high-performance electric drive concept works with extremely efficient 700 V lithium-ion batteries, which have proven themselves in the application of electric buses, meeting the highest standards of safety. In addition, the TMS system (Thermo Management System) that is part of the ‘IonMaster’ concept delivers very short charging times, supporting quick opportunity charging. The vehicles can be easily charged at all standard AC and DC charging points with up to 150 kW. Compared to diesel-powered vehicles, the system offers enormous energy savings, very high total vehicle efficiency, and noise emissions approaching zero. As an efficient modular long-life drive concept, ‘IonMaster’ technology is the key to highly cost-effective operation with e-vehicle fleets.
Like the diesel version, the ‘PHOENIX’ E satisfies the highest standards of safety, with premium components and a full range of service and maintenance tools. ‘PHOENIX’ E– yet another technical milestone from the Goldhofer Company.