If you have ever found yourself in the middle seat as your connecting flight is boarding, you might be wondering what it takes to move an airliner after the jets are shut down. Airport tractors are powerful beasts of burden that use ballast and gear reduction to move aircraft around the tarmac. Most modern airports have enough room between gates to allow planes to arrive under their own power. But in situations where the ground crew is forced to work near the jet engines, using a tractor is safer and more fuel efficient than running the jets.
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The largest passenger airplane is the A380 from Airbus. It uses a quartet of Rolls-Royce engines rated at 81,000 lb-ft of torque each. It has a dry weight of 285 metric tons. For comparison, a Boeing B52 Stratofortress weighs in at only 181, respectively. Since the Airbus moves more air at idle than most conventional aircraft, it needs to be far away from ground personnel when running. “Horsepower sells cars but torque wins races.”
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Mr. Shelby was alluding to the fact that without torque, nothing is achieved. Porsche knows this very well, which is why their Turbo models have mostly had equal if not more torque than horsepower. You might not consider towing your toys with a luxury SUV, so they teamed up with Airbus at Charles de Gaulle for a display of force. The latest Cayenne Turbo S makes 560 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, which is sent to all wheels for ultimate traction. A custom hitch was fabricated to couple the plane’s drawbar to the chassis in an even manner. Certified by Guinness World Records, the results speak for themselves. Airport tug builders are now on notice: Porsche can do your job and make it look classy. We hope this motivates your Monday, so stay with us for all your Porsche updates!
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