All-Electric Aircraft Pushback Tug in Operation at Munich Airport

On the apron of Munich Airport, aircraft are now also moved fully electrically using resource-saving handling equipment. New in use at EFM, the company for de-icing and aircraft towing at Munich Airport, is an aircraft tow tractor equipped with the latest 700 V lithium-ion battery technology, which can effortlessly tow passenger aircraft up to a take-off weight of 352 tons – and thus also wide-body aircraft.

The flagship of the Memmingen-based manufacturer Goldhofer is named after the mythical miracle bird Phoenix and achieves speeds of up to 32 kilometers per hour with consistently high tractive power. Through short intermediate charging, reliable round-the-clock operation is possible with the pioneering and completely emission-free “PHOENIX” E. If the loading capacity is ever insufficient, “PHOENIX” E is also equipped with a range extender that enables operation with diesel in exceptional cases. Compared to conventional diesel tractors, the maintenance effort is significantly lower.

With the deployment of the all-electric aircraft pushback tug, EFM, a joint subsidiary of Lufthansa and Munich Airport, is making a contribution to Munich Airport’s climate protection goals, which are to be operated in a completely CO2-neutral manner by 2030 at the latest.

To achieve this ambitious goal, Munich Airport is implementing a wealth of technological innovations in all areas and has massively expanded not only the proportion of electric vehicles in its fleet but also the charging infrastructure. The photo below shows the climate-neutral Goldhofer “PHOENIX” E aircraft tractor and a Lufthansa Airbus A350, the world’s most modern long-haul aircraft, which is not only quiet but also particularly economical thanks to its low kerosene consumption. Climate protection in aviation is a joint task: Airport and airline, ground handling services and manufacturers of equipment and vehicles pursue the common goal of advancing the decarbonization of air traffic.

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