A Lektro Vehicle via CTC for the U.S. Air Force
Battery electric tug specialist Lektro is testing an 8850-series electric tractor – with a Perkins diesel engine allowing it to charge itself – at Orlando Executive Airport in Florida this week.
It’s a case of a longtime industrial battery vehicle specialist – Warrenton, Ore-based Lektro was founded in 1945 – investigating a hybrid design so that the vehicle does not have to be plugged in.
Lektro is working under contract to Johnstown, Pa.-based Concurrent Technologies Corp. CTC has a U.S. Air Force contract to develop a tug that can charge itself, says Lektro president Eric Paulson. The service wants a quiet electric unit that can run with no engine heat signature, to be able to function where there is no infrastructure for charging.
Lektro’s EVs Use Lead Acid
CTC modified the Lektro unit for the Air Force work, Paulson told F&F, using a smaller lead acid battery pack than is usual in the tractor. A Lektro 8850 can tow aircraft up to 120,000 pounds.
Lektro recently delivered its 4,000th commercial unit – a pure battery electric tug tractor.
The trials this week are part of NBAA 2012, this year’s National Business Aviation Association annual convention. Nine Lektro tugs, including the hybrid, are helping manage some 93 business aircraft at the NBAA 2012 static display.
Dave Moyer is in charge of the project at CTC.
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Source: Fleets & Fuels reportage at NBAA 2012