Allison delivers Bliss-Fox the drive to push the world’s largest passenger jet
Allison-equipped Bliss-Fox F1-500 model tractor is the first to be specifically designed for use with the Airbus A380
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Australian ground support equipment manufacturer Bliss-Fox has selected Allison’s 4500 automatic transmission for its new generation Bliss-Fox F1-500, the pushback tractor that was designed and engineered to handle the higher loads demanded by the arrival of the Airbus A380 at airports around the globe. For the past 40 years, the company has consistently turned to Allison transmissions to cope with the loads and reliability demands airlines expect from their push back tractors.
Bliss-Fox was the first manufacturer to design and build a specific Airbus A380-capable conventional push back tractor. The 70 tonne F1-500 unit first supplied to ground handler company Toll Dnata at Sydney airport was used to push back the world’s first A380 commercial flight when Singapore Airlines flew into Sydney from Singapore in November in 2008.
It is the torque converter in each Allison automatic transmission that gives Bliss-Fox airport tractors the ability to manage the task of moving heavy aircraft such as the A380 and Boeing 747 by multiplying engine torque and transferring it to the tractor’s drive wheels. The Airbus A380 has a maximum take-off weight of almost 570 tonnes while the Boeing 747 has a maximum take-off weight of almost 400 tonnes, making them a major task to move around the airport aprons and taxiways. The fully automatic transmission creates smooth shifts which ease the positioning of aircraft, ensuring operators that an Allison-equipped airport push back tractor can move aircraft with safe, accurate control and without shock to the aircraft's landing gear.
According to Bryn Jones, general manager of Bliss-Fox, the company continues to work with Allison because the high quality and performance of Allison’s products matches the requirements of Bliss-Fox’s premium product position. “The local support provided by Allison to Bliss-Fox is excellent, and when we need assistance, they are available 24/7. This kind of service is of the utmost importance in the aviation industry,” says Jones.
Bliss-Fox has been using Allison automatics in its tractors since 1970 when the fledgling company manufactured and supplied its F1-300 to Australian International airline Qantas for use with the then new Boeing 747 fleet. In that original F1-300 model, Bliss-Fox used Allison 4560 transmissions throughout the ten years the model was manufactured. Its reliability and performance has been well proven over the past four decades and despite the fact that the newest F1-300 is now more than 30 years old, there are still 13 in regular service. The company also uses Allison 2500 Series automatic transmissions in its F1-80 10-12 tonne range tractors as well as using the Allison 4500 in the flagship F1-500 model.
With airlines, any delay in pushing back has major consequences because each aircraft is slotted into well-defined schedules. If a push back tractor fails at the wrong time, the aircraft can miss its take-off and landing slot, delaying turnaround times at its next destination. This can result in crews exceeding flying hours and aircraft being held over in some ports because of curfew requirements, which all has the potential to cost the airline dearly. As a result, airport pushback tractors have to be totally reliable and deliver the tractive effort to push heavy aircraft smoothly and efficiently, as well as enabling maintenance engineers to move aircraft into and out of hangars.
Bliss-Fox is a leading provider of baggage tractors, aircraft tow tractors and aircraft pushback tractors to the international aviation and defence markets. Bliss-Fox also supplies portable light towers to the international mining and construction markets. Bliss-Fox operates in international markets in Oceania, Asia, Middle-East, Europe, North America, South America and Africa.
About Allison Transmission, Inc.
Allison Transmission, Inc. (Allison) is the premier global provider of commercial duty automatic transmissions and hybrid propulsion systems. Allison products are specified by over 250 of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers and are used in many market sectors including bus, refuse, fire, construction, distribution, military and specialty applications. Founded in 1915, the Allison business is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. and employs approximately 3,000 people. Regional headquarters with dedicated support staff are located in China, The Netherlands, Brazil, India and Japan. With a global presence in 80 countries, Allison has over 1,550 distributor and dealer locations. More information about Allison is available at www.allisontransmission.com
Claire Dumbreck, Propel Technology, Bloxham Mill, Barford Road, Bloxham, Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK, OX15 4FF. +44 (0)1295 724130 / +44 (0) 7768 773857.
Miranda Jansen, Allison Transmission Europe B.V. Marketing Communications, Baanhoek 188, 3361GN Sliedrecht - The Netherlands , Tel: +31 78-6422 174.