Phoenix E is the first electric tow tractor

Phoenix E is the first electric tow tractor

Mith an Airbus A321 Neo from Lufthansa, the Goldhofer Phoenix E has an easy job. The battery-electric aircraft tow tractor from the Memmingen-based manufacturer, which Lufthansa Engineering and Operational Services (Leos) has been using in Frankfurt am Main since the beginning of the year, can move aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of up to 352 tons. The A321 Neo, which served as a load for the newcomer at its first public appearance in mid-March, only weighs up to 97 tons.

After two prototypes and a demonstration vehicle, the Frankfurt Phoenix E is the first production vehicle that Goldhofer has handed over to the customer. The Lufthansa Group envisages eight years of use for the electric tow tractor at Germany’s largest airport – as with all aircraft tow tractors in the 21-vehicle fleet at the site, which also includes two aircraft tow tractors with hybrid drives. The second battery tow tractor will probably follow later this year.

At first glance, the vehicle, which has a power output of up to 240 kilowatts (220 kW continuous output), hardly differs from the towbarless aircraft tractors of this size class, which are equipped with a diesel engine. Only the quiet operating noise makes it clear that there is no combustion engine working in the tractor with the top-heavy silhouette and the horseshoe-shaped rear. The advantages in operation are also the same: The electric tow tractor maneuvers its tail around the nose wheel of the jet, grabs it with a hydraulic gripper, lifts it and can then pull the aircraft at up to 32 km/h (in Frankfurt, however, the maximum is only 25 km /h allowed) move over the apron.

picture series

Lufthansa electric tow tractor

Phoenix on the airfield

The weight of 17 tons also corresponds to the diesel variant, although Leos in Frankfurt opted for the version of the Phoenix E with the largest installed battery capacity, in this case 165 kWh. The vehicle is charged with electricity from renewable energies at an ABB station with a charging capacity of 40 kW and 50 kW.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent News

Editor's Pick