Effective energy storage provided by a Saft Li-ion battery system will power the world’s first hybrid tractor for wide body aircraft as Kalmar Motor demonstrates a new, low emissions approach to aircraft ground handling operations at one of Germany’s leading airports
Saft, a leading designer and manufacturer of advanced technology batteries for industry, has been awarded a contract by Kalmar Motor, the aircraft tractor specialist, to supply a state-of-the-art lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery system for the world’s first hybrid electric tractor suitable for wide body aircraft. The contract for the TBL 800, that will shortly be trialled at one of Germany’s leading airports, represents a significant entry by Saft into the airport ground-handling sector. This sector is both fast growing, with the world’s airports serving more than 5.7 billion passengers in 2012 – up by 4.4 percent on 2011 – and is also facing new challenges in providing energy efficient and low emission operations.
Ground handling tractors play a vital role at airports by enabling large aircraft to be moved from their hangars to the passenger gate, as well as for the pushback to prepare for taxiing to the runway. Total reliability, round the clock, every day of the year and in all weather conditions is crucial, since the operation has to be completed within a very tight window of only around 20 minutes, and any delay can disrupt flight schedules. Kalmar Motor was the pioneer of the unique TBL towbarless tractor concept. It is now developing a new generation hybrid TBL 800 suitable for even large wide body aircraft, such as the Airbus 380, that will enable airports to cut their use of diesel-driven tractors to address growing demands for reduced environmental emissions.
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Source: Business Wire