Lufthansa LEOS signs development contract for eSchlepper

Lufthansa LEOS, a subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik AG, will deploy electrically powered hybrid towbarless aircraft tugs. A development contract for the project was signed with Kalmar Motor AB from Sweden on October 9th, 2013, on the occasion of the inter airport Europe exhibition in Munich. The electrically powered tug, or eSchlepper, is capable of moving aircraft with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of up to 600 tonnes. The powerful eSchlepper will primarily be used for repositioning and hangar towing operations involving heavy long-haul aircraft, towing them over distances of up to seven kilometers. The all-wheel-drive electric vehicle will be powered by lithium-ion batteries, externally charged from the electricity network. Where necessary, the batteries can also be charged during operation by using a fully integrated diesel motor, the Range Extender. The eSchlepper is therefore purely electrically powered, whilst the integrated diesel generator is exclusively there for safety-related redundancy purposes.

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