The US Air Force (USAF) has deployed an electric aircraft towing tug to move F-15 Eagles at Robins Air Force Base (AFB).
Dubbed TowFLEXX 5.4 (TF-5), the remote-controlled tugs are being used by F-15 aircraft maintenance workers with the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex (WR-ALC).
WR-ALC received a total of ten TF-5 low-profile aircraft tugs, reported Joseph Mather from Robins Public Affairs.
The remote-controlled tugs are being used to safely move F-15s around the flight line and through hangars where traditional tugs cannot manoeuvre at Robins AFB.
The TF-5 is powered by four 12-volt direct current (DC) and 200 AMP/hour batteries.
The tug meets the new regulations for all green procurement for the US Department of Defense (DoD).
402nd Aircraft Maintenance Group (AMXG) TowFLEXX programme manager Carl Motter Jr said they researched new technology, which could turn an F-15 jet in a 65ft circle inside Building 125’s high bay area.
Motter Jr said: “The conventional tug-and-tow bar configuration would not clear tight constraints inside of this building for turning and positioning aircraft.
“With the TF-5, there is greater mobility and less repositioning involved to place an aircraft in a work stand, and it can handle any aircraft up to 120,000lb.”
He also said that the TF- 5 does not require fuel, is more cost-efficient, and there are no harmful exhaust fumes or any loud engine noises while manoeuvring a plane.
Furthermore, using the TF-5 through a hangar is safe.
Motter Jr added: “The TF-5 can be loaded into any cargo plane and transported anywhere in the world where tugs and tow bars have not been shipped.
“This will allow the advance-deployment personnel to move aircraft like the A-10 (Thunderbolt II), F-16 (Fighting Falcon), F-22 (Raptor), F-35 (Lightning II) aircraft into shelters for safety and protection with the ability to use the space more efficiently.”