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Lufthansa LEOS Becomes Launch Customer for Towbar-less Phoenix E Aircraft Tug

Lufthansa LEOS, the Lufthansa Group’s ground handling specialist, has become the launch customer for the all-electric towbar-less Phoenix E aircraft tug from the German manufacturer Goldhofer.

Goldhofer's All-Electric Towbar-Less Phoenix E Aircraft Tug - Courtesy Lufthansa

On Tuesday (March 15, 2022), Lufthansa announced that their ground handling specialist, Lufthansa LEOS, has become the launch customer for an all-electric towbar-less Phoenix E aircraft tug from German manufacturer Goldhofer. The battery powered vehicle operates at Frankfurt Airport and can move an aircraft with an MTOW of up to 352 tons over short and long distances between parking areas, maintenance hangars and departure positions. Lufthansa added the vehicle to their ground handling fleet after extensive testing. Goldhofer’s Phoenix E has a battery capacity of 165 kilowatt hours, a drive power of 240 kilowatts, and the ability to move aircraft at up to 25 km/hr.

The vehicle moves aircraft without emissions, noise or vibration, and because the nose wheel of the aircraft is lifted and locked, the tug can move more quickly than tugs with a tow bar. The Phoenix E tug is used up to 10 hours per day at Frankfurt Airport. Since the energy requirement for towing up to 20 aircraft per vehicle per day is nearly twice as high as the battery capacity, the thermo-controlled lithium-ion battery system allows for rapid recharging. This is carried out, even during short interruptions to work, which is carried out using a dedicated charging infrastructure which is done green electricity.

Lufthansa LEOS has been committed to sustainability for many years. Since 2014, the company has been testing novel, sustainable ground handling concepts with Fraport, as part of the E-PORT AN initiative. In addition to the Phoenix E, the company has two hybrid tow vehicles in operation at Frankfurt Airport. Since 2020, the Lufthansa Group has been sourcing exclusively green energy in their home market, with plans to convert to CO2 neutral mobility on the ground by 2030.

Source: Lufthansa


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