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September 2005 edition

Traction drive system ensures one day aircraft relocation

Engineers have designed a pallet and traction drive system that allows operators to move, rotate and position a range of aircraft and airframes maintaining tight clearances.

AeroGo, a moving systems designer and manufacturer, recently demonstrated its heavy load positioning capabilities by relocating 170,000 to 675,000-pound aircraft frames.

One such application included moving a specially modified 747-400F airframe weighing 675,000 pounds approximately 300 feet from the tarmac into an existing hangar facility. The hangar was marginally large enough to handle the aircraft but required very precise positioning (to within +/- 1 inch) at the nose and three feet clearance at each wingtip. To facilitate this relocation, the airframe needed to be "side-shifted" at 45 degrees into the hangar.

The move was accomplished by the use of a unique pallet and traction drive system designed by AeroGo engineers. AeroGo's totally self-contained and battery-powered drives allowed the operators to slowly move, rotate and position the aircraft maintaining the tight clearances. In addition, due to the porous and rutted nature of the tarmac, the entire relocation was conducted on a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) overlay. This overlay material provided a smooth, sealed surface for drive system operation.

"This represented one of the most challenging assignments ever received by AeroGo," noted Hal Williams, General Manager of AeroGo. "In light of the tight constraints involved and the nature of the payload, it was truly amazing to accomplish this move in a single day."

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