One exhibitor taking part in Asian Aerospace is Lektro, a designer and manufacturer of electric towbarless tugs. The company doesn’t have any on display because they are always built to order. It has a history of working with show organisers too.  The Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre that is hosting the static display also uses several Lektros.

Francis Chao thinks Airbus should have used a towbarless tug at Bangkok, as it might have kept its wingtip fence. However, the company doesn’t currently cater for anything larger than a Boeing 767.

China and the region is a growing market with great potential, currently the Chinese systems relies on air traffic control to communicate between the tow-truck and the aircraft. With an electric Lektro, you can sit there for half an hour or more, it doesn’t need to warm up and doesn’t pump fumes into the atmosphere.”

“The US made the mistake of going for diesel-powered ground vehicles so there are pollution issues. We’re now celebrating our 40th ‘green’ birthday this year,” says Steve White, director international sales.

The pressure is on, because Lektro is more than happy to pursue and persuade the CAAC and implore the use of all electric ground vehicles. But it is not just the environmental angle that Lektro sees as a vital selling point. Without a towbar the tug supports the weight of the aircraft nosewheel, and uses the aircraft weight to balance. Because of this, there is no towbar that can bend or break and lead to an aircraft rolling away without brakes.

China has great potential for Lektro, especially with environment issues coming into focus. All airports have to worry about pollution and all ground equipment should be electric. But it also helps improve safety, there are already too many vehicles in airport, and because it’s towbarless you don’t need 20 years experience to use them,” says Chao.


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Source: Flight Daily News