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December 6, 2021updated 22 Dec 2021 10:35am

USAF deploys remote control aircraft tugs at Robins AFB

The tugs are being used to move F-15s around the flight line and through hangars.

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).

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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.”

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