German GSE manufacturer Goldhofer has sold one of its all-electric F110e pushbacks to local gateway Memmingen Airport
Lothar Holder, CEO at Goldhofer AG and head of its airport technology division, handed over the vehicle to Ralf Schmid, managing director of gateway operator Flughafen Memmingen, in December 2019.
Being fully electric, the F110e is more environmentally friendly than fossil-powered pushbacks, but it is just as powerful nevertheless. A derivative of the F110 (the world’s best-selling conventional aircraft tow tractor, according to Goldhofer), like its diesel-powered counterpart it can manoeuvre aircraft with a take-off weight of up to 120 tons.
The F110e offers reductions in both exhaust and noise emissions for Allgäu Airport Memmingen, yet it can also be operated far more economically than conventional tractors, Goldhofer advises.
Flughafen Memmingen, together with its subsidiary service provider ALLgate, handles operations at Allgäu Airport Memmingen, Bavaria’s third-largest commercial airport, and will operate the all-electric pushback.
Schmid observes: “If we are to achieve our climate neutrality target, we have to commit to a number of investments. In addition to a combined heat and power plant and a natural gas filling station, this also includes electromobility.
“With the introduction of an electric aircraft tow tractor, we have now taken a further step in this direction.”
Holder adds: “We are delighted that Memmingen Airport has chosen to work with us in order to continue to move forward with its sustainability programme. We are convinced that the use of electric vehicles at Memmingen Airport will not only reduce emissions and energy requirements enormously but will also be significantly more economical than conventional systems.”
Memmingen Airport is a regional airport serving the town in which Goldhofer’s headquarters is located. Since opening in 2007, Memmingen Airport has grown quickly, and in 2018 handled almost 1.5 million passengers.
An extensive upgrade programme began in 2018. The runway was widened from 30 to 45 meters and a new airfield lighting system was put in place. The next steps include extending the baggage hall and installing a new instrument landing system for approach 06.
The purchase of the electric pushback represents a big step forward in the airport’s environmental strategy, while helping to meet the growing ground handling requirements of the gateway.
The F110 is in use at various airports around the world. Several hundred models have been placed on the market since its launch. The Schopf company (which merged with Goldhofger in 2013) launched the electric version of the F110 in 2009 and, since then, several of the vehicles have been delivered to customers across different continents.
Following the acquisition of Schopf, Goldhofer’s product portfolio has been updated step by step. With the introduction of the Bison series of pushbacks presented at the inter airport exhibition in Munich, Goldhofer Airport Technology introduced its new ‘e-mobility’ capability with its 400/680 V IonMaster Technology.
IonMaster is described by Goldhofer as “state-of-the-art e-vehicle technology for ground handling”. Goldhofer’s all-electric tractors use drive systems that have been tried and tested in the automotive industry. They are said to be the lowest maintenance vehicles of their kind, combining maximum operating comfort and minimum charging times.
The lithium-ion modular 400 or 680 V batteries provide greater safety, higher performance and longer life than lead-acid batteries, without the need for a separate charging infrastructure, Goldhofer says. That contributes to “uncomplicated and absolutely safe” ground handling.
The Goldhofer Group employs approximately 800 staff. It is based in Memmingen and Ostfildern, Germany, and can trace its history back to 1705.
The Airport Technology division supplies a wide range of conventional and towbarless aircraft tow tractors, aircraft recovery systems, and cargo and baggage tractors.