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Airfield tractor: overview, design features, specifications

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Airfield tractor: overview, design features, specifications
Airfield tractor: overview, design features, specifications

Many people must have wondered: how do multi-ton aircraft move along the runways and hangars after landing? After all, this technique can weigh hundreds of tons, is not intended for ground movement under its own power, since jet jets of engines can damage communications and buildings. For these purposes, an airfield tractor is used. Special vehicles for towing aircraft are manufactured by various companies. Below we consider the features and characteristics of the most powerful modern representative of the BelAZ brand and the MAZ prototype, which was developed in the 60-70s of the last century.

Airfield tractor BelAZ


All trucks and special equipment of the indicated direction differ from each other in overall and technical parameters. The most powerful aircraft towing vehicle in the world is the BelAZ. For comparison: one of the most powerful analogues - Douglas Kalmar TBL-600 - is capable of transporting up to 48 tons, while for Belarusian-made equipment this figure is 260 tons.

It is worth noting thatthe BelAZ airfield tractor, for all its incredible strength, has relatively modest dimensions. Options:

  • length/width/height - 7500/3300/2300 mm;
  • engine type - Russian-made diesel engine project 8424.10-04;
  • rated power - 4250 hp c;
  • speed - 2100 rpm;
  • transmission - hydromechanical type;
  • frame - welded configuration of high strength low alloy steel.

Design features

The airfield tractor BelAZ-74212 is equipped with three cabins. One of them is located in the back. The right compartment on the right is designed to accommodate two service personnel, the other two are for drivers. The left front cabin is equipped with hydraulic devices that allow it to rise to a height of up to 450 millimeters. Several working compartments allow equipment to drive up to the aircraft without the need to turn around.

Airfield tractor cabin

Besides the fact that these machines are towing aircraft, they are capable of transporting large-tonnage cargo. The main work of the towing vehicle is carried out by attaching special clamps to the carrier - a device that is available in front and behind the car.


Belarusian airfield tractors are in demand in different countries of near and far abroad (Germany, Russia, Korea, India and others). At the same time, manufacturers do not stop at the achieved result. Representatives of the BelarusianThe automobile plant announced the design and development of a new towing vehicle under the index 74270. This technique will be able to move aircraft weighing up to 600 tons. As the designers assure, the creation of a new modification is entering the final stage.

Photo of BelAZ airfield tractor

Airfield tractor MAZ

The MAZ-541 experimental wheeled towing vehicle was designed to move transport and passenger aircraft along the runways. The technique began to be developed in the 50s of the last century, a total of three copies were assembled. The units were operated until the beginning of the 70s, after which they were decommissioned. There are currently no surviving copies.

The creation of the machine began in accordance with the order of the Ministry of Transport. The task facing the Minsk designers was to create an airfield tractor capable of transporting aircraft weighing up to 85 tons. The appearance of the MAZ-541 had no analogues in the world.


The tug was equipped with a unique all-metal body. The closed cockpit had three windshield sections with a wiper on each section. The back wall is designed in a similar way. The entrance to the workplace was carried out through the side doors of the hinged type. In the middle there were two pairs of seats, with their backs to each other.

On the sides, engineers have provided additional doors that duplicate the configuration of the doors and the cabin without glazing frames. Behind the hinged parts were blocks for the maintenance of the towing vehicle. In the front there are fourlight elements of head lighting. The working area was illuminated by three rotary spotlights from the stern of the equipment. A pair of hatches were equipped in the roof to improve visibility and ventilation.

Model airfield tractor MAZ-541


In the cabin of the MAZ-541 diesel airfield tractor, there are two control stations equipped with a full set of instruments and devices, along with steering wheels. The control points were diagonal, allowing the operator to move from one place to another quickly and freely. Design features made it possible to increase the accuracy of positioning equipment in relation to the rear hitch. When moving the liner, the driver was at the front control post.

All tugboats created by Belarusian designers were painted in red-orange colors. The roof, hood and top of the wings were covered with white paint. In the future, the wings were completely repainted in the main background of the car. The front bumper was covered with a white layer with red-orange stripes.

Aerodrome tractor MAZ

Technical parameters

All elements of the MAZ-541 towing vehicle are mounted on a steel riveted frame, some parts are borrowed from serial trucks. Bridges were mounted on semi-elliptical springs. To guarantee the increase in weight, a ballast is provided, which made it possible to bring the operational weight to 28, 23 tons.

Other characteristics of the airfield tug in question:

  • power unit - 12-cylinderdiesel engine D-12A with V-configuration;
  • working volume - 38800 cc;
  • power to the maximum - 300 hp c;
  • speed - 1600 rpm;
  • fuel consumption - 120-130 l / 100 km;
  • location of tanks - inside the body;
  • length/width/base - 7, 97/3, 4/3, 4 m.
  • rear/front tires - 17, 00-32/15, 0-20.

Two drawbars were used simultaneously to transport aircraft. The first element was fixed on the axis of the front strut of the aircraft, the second fixture clung to the shock absorber. A pair of towbars is provided at the stern, and the front analogue was located in front of the bumper.

Foreign equivalent

For comparison, let's study the performance characteristics of a German-made Schopf airfield tractor. The range of this company includes several towing vehicles weighing from 5 to 70 tons, capable of performing various tasks. The company has been producing equipment that competes with the world's leading analogues for several decades.

The most powerful airfield tractor

Machines are designed for operation in various climatic regions. One of the best-selling modifications is the Schopf F-110 model. The equipment is equipped with an automatic transmission, all-wheel drive and a swivel mechanism on all wheels. The traction force of 110 kN makes it possible to tow small and medium-sized airliners with a take-off weight of up to 160 tons. An electric variation with a power of 60 kW operates with a weight of up to 150 tons, does not produce harmful emissions. Battery capacityenough for 30 shipments.

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