Saturday, June 16, 2018

Arduino Tug - Arduino Aircraft Towing Machine

Towing an aircraft has been there for a long time without any change. Only when you see larger aircraft you can notice how those towing and push-back machines (Tugs) are getting bigger.

Tugs are those machines powered by traditional fossil fuel to move aircrafts on the ground to save highly priced Jet Fuel on the ground in an operation known as Aircraft Taxiing.

Now electric tugs are beginning to be popular and gain more attention from airliners.
To save conventional fuel and to save the planet from harmful fossil fuel emissions, transforming to electric power is the better solution in all transformation means.

There are some different versions and inventions implementing the idea of electric towing and push-back. Here are tow of them.

  • WheelTug

WheelTug is an electrical system which enables an aircraft to push-back and taxi without using its own engines or an external tug. WheelTug reduces the time an airplane spends on the ground, allowing it to spend more time in the air. It saves time, money and fuel consumption.

  • Mototok

Mototok provides a family of innovative solutions for aircraft towing and hangar management.
The company provides state of the art series of innovative electric tugs that can be used with aircrafts of up to 195 tons of weight.
Mototok products can be remotely controlled by a single person operation.

It's available for a wide range of Military, Commercial Airliners and Helicopter aircrafts with different models.

Arduino Controlled Aircraft Tug

Anthony DiPilato wanted to make his own aircraft tug that can be controlled from his iPhone. So he decided to use Arduino Mega and an  HC-08 Bluetooth module to build it.

Wrote the software for Arduino and an iPhone interface to control it.

This little device looks like a little tank and can move light aircrafts.

But it's capable of pulling a Cessna 310 with an estimated weight of 5,200 lbs.

Design and Bill of Material

Device Testing

Tug in Action

Author website

Arduino Website

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