Re: O'Hare -> Hong Kong Non-Stop

From: (Tilman Sporkert)
Organization: Active Software, Inc.
Date:         20 Jul 96 15:56:08 
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In article <airliners.1996.1327@ohare.Chicago.COM> kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz) writes:

d is the plane is towed to
   >the runway and engines started in the runup area.

   How much does that add to the block time?  I'd think that taxi time
   would be significantly longer with a tug than on engine power.  (I
   assume the APU must be running the whole time.)

Why would it take longer? Lufthansa has developed a "tug" that can move
around a 747 pretty well, even without somebody in the cockpit. They
were considering using these new tugs to move the aircraft to the runway,
to save fuel. That was a couple of years ago, but I don't know if they
ever implemented this plan.

Unlike a convential tug, which uses a drawbar connected to the front
wheels, this new tug has a wide slot in the back, going to the center
of the tug. It backs up until the front wheels are in the middle of the
tug, and then somehow grabs the front wheels and LIFTS them off the
ground. With this arrangement, you have much better control of the airplane,
and don't need anybody in the cockpit  to operate the planes
brakes. You can probably move a 747 at a pretty good clip this way.

I have seen these tugs a couple of times at Frankfurt. Lufthanse seems to
be using them to bring their planes from their maintenance areas to the
gate area. Pushback was still done with convential tugs.
Tilman Sporkert     Active Software, Inc. 
Anything stated above is just my opinion, not an offical statement of
Active Softare, Inc.