Lufthansa LEOS, the ground handling specialist of the Lufthansa Group, is the launch customer of the all-electric towbar-less aircraft tractor Phoenix E from German manufacturer Goldhofer. The purely battery-electric vehicle operates at Frankfurt Airport. It can move aircraft with a take-off weight of up to 352 tonnes over short and long distances between parking areas, maintenance hangars and departure positions.
After extensive testing and training, Lufthansa LEOS added the electric vehicle to the fleet. The advantages of the electric tug are apparent; it moves aircraft without emissions and noise or vibration.
With a battery capacity of 165-kilowatt hours and a drive power of 240 kilowatts, aircraft can be moved at speeds of up to 25 kilometres per hour. Because the nose wheel of the aircraft is lifted and locked, the tug can move relatively quickly and is easier to manoeuvre than tugs with a tow bar.
Lufthansa LEOS has been committed to sustainability on the ground 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 all-electric towbar less aircraft tractor, it already has two hybrid tow vehicles in operation at Frankfurt Airport.