Frankfurt becomes first airport to order new super tractor for the A380


FRANKFURT (Fraport) - Fraport AG's preparations for the future ground handling of A380 superjumbos at its Frankfurt Airport (FRA) home base continue to take form.  The airport company has just ordered the new AST-1X 1200 model tow tractor manufactured by Goldhofer of Memmingen, Germany. 

Thus, FRA is the first air transportation hub in Europe to get this new generation tow tractor designed for the A380 superjumbo.  Valued at about €1 million, the giant tug delivers 1,200 horse power and is certified to pull aircraft with a takeoff weight of up to 600 metric tons. 

After Airbus, Fraport is now the second company to purchase Golderhofer's AST-1X 1200.  The giant 38-metric-ton tractor is towbarless. 

This means a towbar does not have to be attached to the aircraft when moving the A380 at the passenger terminals or when towing it from a remote parking position to the maintenance hangar.  Fraport's super A380 tug is expected to be delivered in the autumn of 2006.

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