The Ground Handling Blog

Mototok's blog for Hangar Professionals

Written by Mototok on March 9, 2017 // 5:00 PM

StarTug: The all-direction mover is a revolution for aircraft tugs


Forward? Easy. Backwards? No problem. Sideways? A piece of cake. No other aircraft tug is as mobile as the StarTug. We reveal the secret behind our latest concept and show you where the StarTug can be applied.

From the very start, Mototok has been the manufacturer of revolutionary ground support equipment. In light of conventional tow-bar diesel tractors, such aircraft tugs as the Spacer or the Twin mark the future of ground handling. With the StarTug Mototok takes it one step further and grants the ultimate freedom of movement. But what is so special about it?

Every direction, every plane

The answer is simple yet sensational: The StarTug can move the aircraft in any direction. Once the plane is picked up it can be moved in every degree – backward, sideways, diagonal, you name it – without turning itself. This is a level of mobility that was probably never achieved by an aircraft tug before. Plus: It fits an incredibly wide range of aircrafts because it can adjust its length and has a flexible width.

How does the StarTug work?

The StarTug is T-shaped and connects with both the nose gear and the main landing gear. It lifts the tires up so the whole airplane is elevated. None of its parts is touching the ground at this point so there is zero friction when the plane is moved. But how exactly does it move?

The key is the interface where the two axes meet: There is a round platform that contains the engine and stands on the driving wheels. The platform can make a 360 degree turn either with the aircraft or independently from it. With this technology, the StarTug can maneuver an aircraft around narrow corners, production lines, and in-between pillars. Watch our video for more details:


StarTug’s areas of application

The technology is surely amazing but the StarTug is probably still no aircraft tug you would use for pushback operations or on an offshore platform. So where can it be applied? The maximum of flexibility that the StarTug provides is most valuable in two main areas:

  1. Manufactories and production lines

Being able to tow an airplane in any direction creates completely new possibilities for the design of production lines. It is space-saving and therefore economical. The idea for the StarTug came up when an aircraft manufacturer was using air cushions instead to maneuver the planes in the production line. That was very complex and incredibly expensive. This is why Mototok designed the StarTug in the first place. It is simple to use and far cheaper in the long run.

2. Supported hangars with pillars and other narrow buildings

Many old and/or low-priced hangars don’t have a cantilever vault but pillars that support the ceiling. These pillars make it highly difficult to maneuver aircrafts into and out of the hangar and eventually they always leave behind a huge amount of unused space. Building new hangars without pillars takes time and is a costly endeavor. This is where the StarTug can bring out an old hangar’s full potential and save a lot of money and space.

Conclusion to the StarTug

Time and again Mototok designs tailored solutions for its clients. These solutions aren’t meant exclusively for these clients, though, so everyone can benefit from a new revolutionary piece of technology. For further information, you can check out the StarTug product page or directly get in touch with us. The StarTug just might be the tug you need to maximize your profits.

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