DTV : Dispatch Towing Vehicle, for ""Engines Stopped"" Aircraft Taxiing
The DTV is a towbarless aircraft tractor dedicated to dispatch towing of single aisle aircrafts (e.g. A320, B737), allowing the aircraft to stop the engines during taxiing in and out. The DTV has sufficient power to achieve taxiing speeds compatible with a transparent integration into taxiing traffic. By measuring in real time the load on the Nose Landing Gear thanks to a unique clamping device, and by adapting its tractive effort in accordance, the DTV does not impact the structure life of the aircraft Nose Landing Gear. It also offers full operational transparency for the aircraft pilot, as the braking is performed by the aircraft Main Landing Gear, on pilot demand. The clamping device allows the rotation of the Nose Landing Gear, so the steering could be performed by the Pilot using his tiller such as today. In case of aircraft limitation on steering capability with no engine running, the DTV has a “Steer-By-Wire” mode using tiller signal.
The DTV will integrate embedded systems exclusively developed for this application and certified through STC certification (aerospace requirements), which will communicate with the airport environment. These systems include a Control, Command and Communication Center (C4), dGPS, INS, ODD, to allow the DTV to receive environment data (slope, wing, aircraft data) in order to adapt its tractive effort and target speed depending on its position on the air field. No modification of the aircraft is needed, communication from DTV Driver to Pilot is done via Intercom as today, and Pilot could have additional DTV information and target speed control via Electronic Flight Bag. Minor changes on airport are needed, such as return roads. The DTV will be able to perform standard Pushback and Maintenance Towing operations, as existing aircraft tractors, but with a more accurate load monitoring system, in order to limit induced fatigue loads.