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Step-By-Step Guide to Aircraft Parking Using an Electric Towbarless Tractor

Conventional tugs can sometimes make parking aircraft within a hangar a problematic and laborious undertaking. But small, agile electric towbarless tugs allow you to be precise when parking aircraft and give you the flexibility and efficiency you need to maximize every square foot of hangar space. The following is an overview of how to utilize every bit of space when parking aircraft in your hangar.

Please note that this guide is not exhaustive. Contact your aircraft and ground support equipment manufacturers for full parking and towing instructions.

Understand The Hangar Space

For overall efficiency and cost-effectiveness, it’s crucial that you’re able to fit the maximum number of airplanes into your hangar. In order to do this, you need to have a good understanding of the hangar space.

Look for spaces in your hangar that aren’t being fully utilized or find ground support equipment that is collecting dust from lack of use. If you’re currently not using your hangar to its full capacity, you’ll most likely notice some dead space between aircraft. To rectify this, weed out underutilized equipment and make use of some Tetris-style aircraft parking techniques.

Maximize Your Area

Conventional parking procedures typically situate planes backward into the hangar. But the hangar stacking method of maximizing your available space is a little bit different. It is the process of freely moving airplanes by “stacking” them and minimizing wasted space.

  1. You should begin filling your hangar with the largest planes first, fitting in the smallest planes last to fill the hangar more efficiently.
  2. Use planes that have swept wings in order to fill the corners of your hangar. Push them into the corners as far as you can before the wings begin to touch the walls. The noses of each airplane should be pointed toward the corners.
  3. There’s often a lot of space under the wings of your bigger aircraft. Use it to store some of your smaller planes to maximize the space. Then proceed to fill in the remaining hangar space with the rest of your airplanes.
  4. For efficiency’s sake, be sure to keep more frequently used aircraft near the hangar doors and less used aircraft toward the back of the hangar.

Conventional aircraft tugs play a vital role at your airport, however, it’s important to understand that when using the hangar stacking method, a conventional aircraft tug might not be the best choice and can often make these maneuvers next to impossible. Instead, you’ll need a smaller tug that doesn’t require a towbar and can thus work more precisely.

Have the Right Equipment (and Employees) in Place

Firstly, it’s extremely important that you have employees you can trust and rely on to safely transport and park your aircraft every time. If you don’t have that, you don’t have anything.

Next, in order to properly park your planes while maximizing hangar space, you’ll need to use an electric towbarless tug. A conventional tug with a towbar typically requires a lot of space in front of the aircraft, meaning using the hangar stacking method is simply not an option. Instead, by using towbarless aircraft tugs, you’ll be able to work more precisely and naturally, resulting in the smallest turning radius possible and maximum use of your hangar.

Using the proper equipment is also a crucial part of successfully parking aircraft. To ensure you’re securely mooring your planes, the following equipment should be in place:

Be Safe And Precise

When transporting and parking aircraft, it's essential to avoid potential harm to employees and damage to the aircraft or aircraft towing equipment. When maximizing the use of your hangar by minimizing the space between aircraft and equipment, you need to be especially careful. This requires reliable equipment, top-notch employees and stringent precision every step of the way.

Once your hangar is filled, be sure to walk around and check the distances between all of the airplanes and ground support equipment. Verify that no aircraft is touching the wall, another airplane or a piece of ground support equipment.

Improve Your Aircraft Parking Efficiency With Tronair

At Tronair, we’re known for our diverse and unparalleled range of high-quality ground support equipment product lines. We offer a wide selection of electric towbarless tugs, aircraft parking equipment and more. Have a question or need more information? Contact us today — we’re here to help!

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