What Tug to Get

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Expand view Topic review: What Tug to Get

Re: What Tug to Get

by Don » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:31 am

Boatguy wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:42 am
Don wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:18 pm
I have been very happy with my AC Air Technology robot tug. It has a wireless remote with joystick and speed control. You can walk around aircraft when in motion to check clearance. Also, the bright LED lights make hook up at night easy.
http://acairtechnology.com/
How do you get the nose wheel onto and off the tug?
You push a button on the remote and on the very back of the robot a gate opens and lowers creating a ramp. Then you slowly back the robot and it lifts the nose wheel up. That said, it is best to set parking brake first. The robot is so powerful it will push the aircraft back if parking brake is not set. Once wheel is positioned properly on the robot, you release gate button on the remote and the gate and ramp goes up automatically. Then insert side stabilizes into nose pants, release parking brake and you are ready to go.
Here is a video when factory was testing DA40 prototype on my plane.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE0_Zw2XanM

Re: What Tug to Get

by Don » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:46 am

CBeak wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:20 am
Don wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:18 pm
I have been very happy with my AC Air Technology robot tug. It has a wireless remote with joystick and speed control. You can walk around aircraft when in motion to check clearance. Also, the bright LED lights make hook up at night easy.
http://acairtechnology.com/
TingNEW TUG.JPG
Interesting. There are several models on their site. Which one are you using?
This Model. http://acairtechnology.com/product/ac-tracktech-t1v2-2/
You can see in the description it is recommended for DA40's. BTW, my Diamond Star was the first DA 40 they had built a tug for. They are located near Chino Airport, (KCNO) which is about a 20 minute flight from my base airport. I flew out there and they took measurements of the nose wheel and nose pant. A week later I returned to Chino and they tested the DA40 prototype on my plane which is the one shown in earlier photo. I also had them add LED lights which is not shown in photo. A week or so later they shipped me the tug.

Re: What Tug to Get

by Boatguy » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:42 am

Don wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:18 pm
I have been very happy with my AC Air Technology robot tug. It has a wireless remote with joystick and speed control. You can walk around aircraft when in motion to check clearance. Also, the bright LED lights make hook up at night easy.
http://acairtechnology.com/
How do you get the nose wheel onto and off the tug?

Re: What Tug to Get

by CBeak » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:20 am

Don wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:18 pm
I have been very happy with my AC Air Technology robot tug. It has a wireless remote with joystick and speed control. You can walk around aircraft when in motion to check clearance. Also, the bright LED lights make hook up at night easy.
http://acairtechnology.com/
TingNEW TUG.JPG
Interesting. There are several models on their site. Which one are you using?

Re: What Tug to Get

by Don » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:18 pm

I have been very happy with my AC Air Technology robot tug. It has a wireless remote with joystick and speed control. You can walk around aircraft when in motion to check clearance. Also, the bright LED lights make hook up at night easy.
http://acairtechnology.com/
NEW TUG.JPG

Re: What Tug to Get

by Rich » Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:40 pm

I used the PowerTow 40EZ for about 17 years. Last summer bought Brock's ThunderVolt 12V. This is an electric motor battery-powered variant of the PowerTow and have used it ever since. I like it better for the quiet, minimal vibration operation and no engine maintenance/refueling. A couple of days ago was a good example of using a tug for in/out operation. In front of the hangar was about a 12-ft. long sheet of ice to navigate. Traction from the (fairly heavy) tug abetted a bit by pushing down on the handle made it a no-hassle removal.

Learning to use it is key. For the DA40, I've found that once it's lined up straight where I want it to go, I can make minor adjustments as needed to keep it straight by pushing downward on one side of the handle or the other. This causes the nose-gear to rotate very slightly and keeps the plane under control.

The battery-powered version does not move the plane as quickly as the gas-powered will. This max speed is a good thing for the main use, as I'm only moving the plane 50-ish ft. in or out.

Re: What Tug to Get

by Tommy » Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:41 pm

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658B91A6-EFF0-4B65-BF5C-4A045C33D7EC.jpeg
2A1DB625-7948-4FA9-9799-375B0677D091.jpeg
You can’t beat this tug. It has a castering basket that literally makes it impossible to damage the nose gear. Variable speed, regenerative braking, senses the surface it is on 35 times a second and adjusts speed and torque as necessary. No, they are not cheap, however, how expensive is the aircraft you are towing. One damage event on my nose wheel cost me $6,000.00. That’s pretty much enough to pay for the tug. Believe me (and I know many of you won’t) you don’t want to be cheap here.

Re: What Tug to Get

by Boatguy » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:59 pm

I use a Best Tugs Alpha 3. It's a well built unit and works well.

Pushing the trailing link nose wheel is an issue; I have to lift and rotate the tug when pushing. Pulling is easy and the tug has a pin which can be pulled to allow the nose wheel connection to articulate and easily turn the plane.

I don't know that connecting to the nose wheel axle is any different than having the nose wheel sit on the tug. Either way the force must go through the nose wheel strut. Sitting on the tug seems like it would make it more difficult to turn when pulling.

Re: What Tug to Get

by Thomas » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:46 am

I am using a tow TowFLEXX since 11 years.... its just perfect and easy to use.
We do have several units on our airfield, including the larger remote controlled ones ( for the PC12 / TBM‘s).

Re: What Tug to Get

by soarer20 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:37 pm

Diamond said not to pull it from the tail tie down. The person I bought my DA-20 from had been winching it from the tail tie down for years...

I would highly recommend a tug that the nose wheel sits in rather than the type that pushes on the the wheel faring tabs or wheel axle
Airplane tug IMG_5525.jpg
Don't buy this type, this is the one I have and it is very cumbersome and doesn't work very well.
Airplane tugIMG_5526.jpg

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