Douglas Equipment Limited, a market leader with their Tugmaster range of Conventional Aircraft Towing Tractors and Douglas-Kalmar range of new technology Towbarless Aircraft Handling tractors will be promoting both product ranges as well as the Douglas Mu Meter runway friction measuring equipment at the forthcoming Inter-Airport Asia Exhibition to be held in Beijing.
Douglas have sold approximately 500 towbarless tractors to customers throughout UK, Europe, Scandinavia, North America, Middle East, North Africa, South East Asia and the Far East including China and Japan for handling civil transport aircraft with ramp weights of 50 tonnes and above.
The market leading Douglas range of towbarless tractors include:
- The TBL-25 and TBL-50 are designed for handling General Aviation and Regional type aircraft.
- The TBL-180 is designed for pushback, inter-gate and slower speed, shorter distance maintenance towing operations with aircraft weighing up to 180 tonnes.
- The TBL-200 is designed for pushing back aircraft ranging from the F70/100 up to and including the A340/MD11/B777. It also has the capability to perform higher speed, longer distance maintenance towing operations with aircraft ranging from the F70 up to and including the A300/B767.
- The TBL-280 and TBL-400 Tugmasters are designed for pushback, inter-gate and higher speed, longer distance maintenance towing operations with aircraft ranging from the A320/B737/DC9 Series to the A340/B777/MD11 and A310/B767 to the B747-400 respectively.
- With the coming of the Airbus A380 Douglas are in full production with the Douglas-Kalmar TBL-600 towbarless tractor. Four units are already in operation with DNATA, the ground handling subsidiary of Emirates, in Dubai and orders have also been secured from other customers. The TBL-600 is a more powerful version of the well proven TBL-400 that is designed for pushback and higher speed, longer distance maintenance towing operations with the new Airbus A380 aircraft, as well as handling the same range of aircraft as the TBL-400.
The Douglas-Kalmar range of towbarless aircraft handling tractors offer ground handling companies and airlines significant opportunities to move their handling operations on into the future by providing them with major opportunities to reduce their operational costs and increase their operational flexibility and efficiency to ensure they maintain their competitive positions.
Recent additions to the Douglas Tugmaster range of conventional aircraft towing tractors include the Douglas Tugmaster Type DC6-44 and DC8-44 four wheel drive, four wheel steer versions of the 2 wheel drive, 2 wheel steer DC6 and DC8.
The DC6-44, designed for handling aircraft with maximum ramp weights up to 150 tonnes, can be ballasted from 10,000 kgs-14,000kgs producing tractive efforts from 79kN – 110 kN. A major feature of the DC6-44, apart from its excellent manoeuvrability, is that the operator will have clear vision of both the front and rear towing pins from the cab without the aid of mirrors, a major advantage when coupling to towbars/aircraft. The DC8-44 is a larger version of the DC6-44 that is ballasted from 18 tonnes to 22 tonnes, producing tractive efforts from 142 kN to 175 kN for handling aircraft with maximum ramp weights up to 250 tonnes.
For operators wishing to handle the A380 with a conventional tractor and towbar Douglas already have a 70 tonne version of the four wheel drive, four wheel steer Douglas Tugmaster type DC12-44 they have been producing for many years, into which they have now fitted a higher powered 400 kW (535 bhp) Deutz water cooled engine driving through a Clark 8000 Series torque converter and powershift transmission producing a tractive effort of 485 kN. Designated the DC12-600 it also incorporates the Douglas inter-axle differential, a vital and most important feature that enables the tractor to be in permanent four wheel drive whilst at the same time eliminating transmission wind-up and resulting premature driveline wear, reducing wheel slip and extending tyre life.