The first »PHOENIX« E battery-powered towbarless aircraft tractor from Goldhofer has been in successful operation at Frankfurt Airport since January 2022. In its first nine months of service, the tow tractor has handled more than 4,000 zero-emission pushbacks and maintenance tows.
The trend is clear: Environmentally friendly air travel starts on the ground. Lufthansa LEOS is accordingly committed to an ongoing shift to sustainable, zero-emission ground operations and in this context has chosen to invest in the battery-powered towbarless aircraft tractor from Goldhofer. Following the success of the first »PHOENIX« E at Frankfurt Airport, a second, identical model is now going into service, and further purchases are already being considered.
In this initial period of service with Lufthansa LEOS, a wealth of operational data has been generated – including the fact that the »PHOENIX« E has already traveled more than 25,000 km. “Our drivers are thrilled with the vehicle,” says Peter Unger, CEO at Lufthansa LEOS. “The figures so far exceed our expectations and have enabled us to take a huge step forward in zero-emission ground handling. So now we want to follow up with a second »PHOENIX« E in order to achieve our goals even faster.”
Frankfurt Airport’s first »PHOENIX« E performs up to 26 tows a day with 3-shift working and does so with unbeatable reliability – thanks to the »IonMaster« technology employed by Goldhofer, a highly efficient and powerful electric drive concept with 700 V lithium-ion batteries from Borg Warner/Akasol. In addition, the TMS system (Thermo Management System), which is part of the »IonMaster« technology, maintains a constant battery temperature – for up to 25% more range and longer battery life. “At the same time, we are continuing to upgrade our charging infrastructure in order to make efficient use of our other electric tow tractors,” says a delighted Peter Unger.
The »PHOENIX« E is the flagship among Goldhofer’s towbarless aircraft tractors. It is a powerful performer, offering speeds of up to 25 km/h for maintenance tows. It also has the versatility to handle the full range of today’s aircraft up to a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 352 t (Boeing B777 / Airbus A350), i.e. approx. 70% of all passenger and cargo aircraft on the market today. This makes the »PHOENIX« series one of the biggest-selling tow tractors on the market. And Goldhofer has succeeded in developing a battery-powered model that delivers the same performance as its diesel-powered predecessor.