Bangor introduces the Beast from the East

posted on 15th May 2019
Bangor introduces the Beast from the East

Bangor International Airport in Maine, in the far north-east of the US, has invested in a new de-icer that it expects to offer significantly enhanced capability for the gateway

The Global Ground Support ER-2875, to give it its more usual name, is a de-icer specifically designed for tackling larger aircraft, including military giants such as the C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster as well as the big A380 commercial passenger ‘super-jumbo’ and the AN-225 ‘Mriya’ long-range, six-engined freighter.

Equipped with a hydraulically powered centrifugal compressor mounted on the operator platform, its de-icing system uses forced air, either alone or in combination with de-icing fluid, to remove all forms of frozen contamination from an aircraft.

The machine has the longest side reach and highest cab/nozzle height of any mobile de-icer in the world, bringing the operator’s eye level to no less than 78 feet. It has a total fluid tank capacity of 2,800 gallons (10,500 litres) and a flow rate of 60 gallons per minute (227.1 litres per minute).

“What this means is better visual inspection of the aircraft when cleaned and, from the pilot’s standpoint, a speedier de-icing process and faster turnaround,” says Bangor Airport director Tony Caruso. “The extra 10 feet of boom will be particularly valuable on larger military and cargo aircraft with a T-tail configuration.”

Careful preparation

Caruso explains the background to the airport’s decision to acquire the ‘Beast from the East’: “Being a municipal organisation, we will typically issue an RFP [request for proposals] for competitive bids. However, from our research, there are only two US manufacturers of this type of de-icing truck with extended reach booms.

“One company is the manufacturer of a truck in our fleet that experienced several major mechanical issues this winter season. Our recommendation was to sole source this purchase with the other manufacturer, Global Ground Support, LLC of Kansas.

“Global is the only manufacturer with extended reach capabilities of up to 75 feet, critical to de-ice the tail sections of the military C-5 and C-17 aircraft that frequent Bangor, as well as the commercial A380. This truck will allow us to continue to fully support military and commercial operations.”

The airport had recently added a different Global machine to its fleet, just prior to purchasing the Global Extended Reach unit. “This Global truck has performed well and received good reports from our employees,” Caruso informs – a further reason for going with the Global ER-2875.

Also in the gateway’s de-icing fleet are a Premier truck with an extended boom reaching out to 60 feet, and an FMC Tempest from JBT, which has “performed remarkably well for over a decade”, says Caruso.

But the addition of the Beast from the East is a game-changer, he believes, enabling a quicker de-icing process and thereby minimising ground time. “It may [only] be minutes saved, but when increasing holdover times for aircraft to safely depart following a de-icing operation, minutes are valuable.”

There will be no shortage of work for the Beast. Bangor typically averages over 100 inches of snow each year. Its winter season begins in late September and can run right through to mid-May.

Bangor Aviation Services operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It can handle any aircraft in service today, including both US and foreign military and civilian aircraft. “With this capability, our goal is to remain fully equipped to ground handle all types of aircraft,” Caruso says.

And as far as further GSE acquisition goes: “We have developed a capital plan that identifies priorities each year for equipment/vehicle replacement. This includes all types of GSE, from GPUs [ground power units] to fuel trucks,” he concludes.