JBT AeroTech’s GSE business unit welcomed more than 50 customers from countries around the world to their product ‘Open House’ at the Orlando, Florida manufacturing facility.
The company said the 8 May event highlighted JBT AeroTech’s “commitment to providing great products and great service”.
The program consisted of factory tours, product training, operational demonstrations, and static displays of more than 20 pieces of cutting-edge ground support equipment (GSE).
JBT said it continues to develop new and innovative products to meet customers’ operational requirements. The event provided a forum to present six products new to the JBT portfolio of GSE.
These were the LEKTRO, towbarless, electric tow vehicle which is new to JBT is the LEKTRO family of tow vehicles. JBT acquired LEKTRO in February of 2019 and has been working to introduce this electric, towbarless vehicle to the JBT family of customers. LEKTRO vehicles come in sizes to service smaller, general aviation aircraft up to large, narrow-body aircraft used in the commercial aviation sector. The 8900 series are designed with exciting features that protect the aircraft, assist the operator, protect the environment, and minimize operational expenses.
And the B950 Diesel Pushback Tractor – which is designed to move wide-body aircraft. With a GVW of 45,300kg (100,000 lbs.) and a DBP of 302kN (68,000lbF) the B950 has the heft and power to move almost any of today’s commercial aircraft. New design elements make the unit as easy to drive as a car, the service points are located on the perimeter of the vehicle to facilitate maintenance and service, and the vehicle is protected with a “ring of steel” promoting a long service life.
Others are the Ranger Electric Loader which offers enhanced speed for faster turns with the reduced emissions and low operating costs of an electric vehicle and the Commander™30i Electric Loader which continues its expansion of all-electric GSE. The heavy-duty, option-rich Commander loader has long been a preferred choice in the world of commercial carriers and service providers. Those numerous benefits are now available in an environmentally friendly all-electric variant.
Also showcased were the Jetaire M60 – a diesel-powered, pre-conditioned air unit for narrow body aircraft. The Jetaire M60’s unique design improves passenger comfort by dramatically reducing the unit’s defrost cycle. Operational uptime has been enhanced through efficient, “soft-start” motors and easy access maintenance and service points.
Lastly, the Tempest I deicer which has been re-designed to reduce fluid use, improve access to service points and maintainability, and to improve over-all reliability and up-time. Simplified systems, better controls, and an emphasis on operator comfort and visibility were derived from customer input and feedback. All these attributes collectively make the Tempest i a compelling value in new deicer products.
JBT also said it continues to introduce exciting new technologies developed to improve customer operations including the iOPS GSE Software. JBT has used its iOPS product to monitor the status and faults on gate equipment such as the passenger boarding bridge. Now, JBT is expanding this capability to GSE. JBT iOPS for GSE can monitor faults, track vehicle locations, establish geo-fencing limits, speed control, and much more.
In development is the loader auto-docking technology which was demonstrated during the open house. Using various types of sensors and sophisticated programming, the loader auto-docking technology is being designed to enhance the safe, damage-free docking of cargo loaders to aircraft and their safe return to a designated initial start position.
Deicer simulators were also showcased. JBT says deicing an aircraft requires skill and practice for fast, efficient, safe processing and has developed deicing simulators using virtual reality to train operators and drivers, singly and as a team, to improve the deicing experience for our customers.