Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1817555
Hi All,

I have an option on an old mobility scooter - and have been wondering for a while about whether it could be used as an aircraft tug. Anyone any experience?

The other option is an electric pallet truck - again, has anyone tried this?

Happy New Year!
#1817564
Should work well: The key if using on wet grass is broad tread, low pressure tyres and plenty of
weight over the wheels.

Our 36 Volt electric modified golf buggy manages to push/pull our fully fuelled (over 1 tonne) Arrow quite nicely over grass.(Its previous owner, a forumite used to push his - jodel/robin I think- 50 yds up a moderate grass slope with it).

On solid ground/tarmac/concrete you'll have no problem

Interestingly when I was searching for a tugging solution several years ago I phoned three or four commercial A/c tug manufacturers in USA direct for information. None of them would commit/guarantee their products would work on soft ground/wet grass.

So when a pre-loved golf buggy came along it seemed the obvious choice........

Also take care with choice of tow-bar : We had one made which was long and bi-sprung to reduce risk to noseleg.

Peter :wink:
#1817597
A small tip.
Based on years of driving tugs and tractors in the RAF, I would strongly suggest fitting a tow hook or ball to the front of your “scooter”.
Particularly when pushing the a/c backwards into the hanger, it is far FAR easier if you are facing the way you are going and can easily see the centre line, wingtip clearances, and tail clearance as you go. It becomes much more difficult if you have to look backwards over your shoulder to see all the above. Drivers will invariably “prefer” one side which induces a tendency to misjudge gaps and distances on the opposite side.
Nick, PeteSpencer, Crash one liked this
#1817598
Thank you Lefty. Indeed, reading lots of remarks about front or rear towing/pushing (to the degree I know longer understand which is better/why).

But, my mobility scooter has the option to turn seat 90degrees (I'm hoping it can still be driven like that) - so this may solve part of the issue.

Feedback on putting ball on front or rear welcome though - will start the modifications tomorrow I hope. It may be possible to have balls front and back. Two balls being better than one, so to speak... :)
#1817603
Sam Rutherford wrote:Thank you Lefty. Indeed, reading lots of remarks about front or rear towing/pushing (to the degree I know longer understand which is better/why).
)


To add to Lefty's point: The torque of electric motors can easily and rapidly exceed the noseleg safe 'arc'. Make sure you have clear noseleg limit markers:

A front tow attachment, and a bi-sprung , long (ours is six feet) towbar can mitigate risks of sudden jerkiness of tow machine.
A noseleg limit lug on our Arrow was sheared off by sudden excessive movement by an (ex) group member.

Before we had the towbar made to measure we used a standard rear towing shackle and rope to tailskid to pull a/c off grass onto apron. Towbar and push is much safer.
#1817613
Lefty wrote:A small tip.
Based on years of driving tugs and tractors in the RAF, I would strongly suggest fitting a tow hook or ball to the front of your “scooter”.
Particularly when pushing the a/c backwards into the hanger, it is far FAR easier if you are facing the way you are going and can easily see the centre line, wingtip clearances, and tail clearance as you go. It becomes much more difficult if you have to look backwards over your shoulder to see all the above. Drivers will invariably “prefer” one side which induces a tendency to misjudge gaps and distances on the opposite side.


Totally agree with this , after years of towing/pushing aircraft around a rolling and pitching flight deck, Ark Royal and Eagle. Much easier to push or pull from the front tow ball/pin to spot the three wheels on three painted marks on the deck (wings spread or folded and hitting each other was frowned upon!
#1817651
There are a couple of tugs in the hangar at Wick which look like they’ve been left there since the war. Heavy, low slung, Lister engined things, operated by walking behind it - quite rare I would imagine. There is also an old VW double cab start up generator outfit lying in the corner.