TOWFLEXX TF5 MILSPEC
Developed with the military
Developed with the military
The TowFLEXX TF5 MilSpec has its origins in the military. Initially, it all started with an inquiry from the Swiss Air Force (Armasuisse) asking whether we had a solution for fighter jets, specifically for the F18. Even though such a solution did not exist at that time, the development of a new, larger tug started immediately. The result of years of development is the TowFLEXX TF5, an aircraft tug suitable not only for commercial aircraft up to 60 tons, but also for fighter jets such as F15, F16, F18, F22, F35, A10 and many more. On that basis, further refinement of a special military configuration (MilSpec) followed in 2020 in collaboration with the U.S. Air Force and other militaries.
The term MilSpec already indicates that this is a “Military Specification”, thus a configuration especially for the military. Hence, this particular version of the TF5 has been optimized particularly for daily use on military bases. Where these optimizations originate from? Over the past few years, many TF5s have found their way into military bases around the world, keeping us in close contact with stationed personnel. Consequently, we have heard the voices of those who work with our units every day. Together, ideas and enhancements were developed to make TowFLEXX tugs even easier and safer to use.
The Center Strip marks the center of the unit, making it easy to pinpoint the exact location for the user when loading an aircraft.
Two heavy duty castors allow 360° rotation on the spot.
Extended grip for safe transport of additional equipment (for example chocks)
Special and more durable coating in military gray.
The 360° turntable allows the nose wheel to always be aligned in the direction of travel, preventing expensive damage caused by exceeding the maximum deflection angle. Aircraft can be picked up from the side (90° angle; standard configuration), or from the front. The turntable can be operated electronically via the radio remote control.
The TF-5 has not only meet the needs to WR-ALC Robins Depot but has made work less laborious. With the TF-5.4 it has reduced time spent waiting for a conventional tug and towbar to move the aircraft into various stands to be worked on.
The TF-5 has provided us with a low cost alternative to the MB-4 tow tractor here at Aviano AB. The small footprint of the TF-5 has given us enhanced options when moving to offsite locations. A single pallet can be utilized to transport via ground or air. At home station we have observed increased towing safety due to the improved visibility, ease of use, precise controls, and quite operation of the TF-5. Additionally, we have seen improved man power utilization as towing with the TF-5 requires one less maintenance member per tow operation when compared to the MB-4 tractor. All around the TF-5 has proven to be a beneficial addition for our F-16 units as we continue to cultivate a lethal, agile force.
With TowFlexx units we’ve taken monumental steps toward a green environmental initiative, all but eliminated risk of injury to personnel, reduced possible aircraft mishaps, reduced tow team personnel, reduced operating costs & increased operational productivity. It’s simple, Towflexx works when you need it, in any environment!
Airmen from the 555th Aircraft Maintenance Unit are using a remote-controlled system to mount an F-16. Each TowFLEXX saves approximately 2,790 man hours annually!
Meanwhile, our aircraft tugs – especially the TF5 – are used by military forces all over the world. Leading this field is the U.S. Air Force (USAF), which has deployed TowFLEXX equipment around the planet and continues to expand its fleet. Accordingly, we are always trying to create more publicly usable photo and video footage, but due to the local security regulations of each base, this is often associated with significant obstacles, which is why we can not show all mentioned aircraft in operation.
Aircraft on base operated with the TF5:
Towing capacity: 60.000kg / 132.000lbs MTOW
Lifting capacity: 5.000kg / 11.000lbs
Dimensions (mm): 1900 x 2600 x 500
Dimentions (Inch): 74,8″ x 102,36″ x 19,7″
Weight: 1.900kg / 4190lbs
Battery Power: 48VDC
Battery Life: approx. 8km / 5mi. (1,6km / 1mi. under full capacity)
The TF5 MilSpec is designed to prevent costly downtime. In the process, a central control unit was designed in which all electronic components and computers come together. In other words, this “eCube” not only protects the components inside, but can also be exchanged and replaced with a new cube within minutes in the event of a malfunction.
This technology allows the modernization of older units as well! This means that new revisions usually feature technical innovations that were not yet installed in previous models (for example, the line assistant or the NPS system). Simply summarized: by installing a new eCube, an existing unit can be revamped to incorporate new features and expand its capabilities.
In addition, the eCube contains the battery charger for the tug, the battery charger for a spare remote control battery, a data logger that can help with troubleshooting, a display that shows the operating hours and error codes, the central key switch to start up the unit and other interfaces for programming, etc.
Joystick for forward and backward movement
Joystick for the change of direction
Light & Horn Toggle
Lifting platform up & down
optional special features
Deadman function toggle
The TowFLEXX TF5 MilSpec is operated via a multifunction remote control. In the default configuration, it connects via radio, but if the supplied backup cable is connected between the remote control and the tug, any radio transmissions are disabled, which can be quite important for some locations.
The radio remote controls used operate on a safety broadcast. Due to the LBT frequency search (Listen before Talk), interference with other devices is almost impossible. Before signals are translated into control commands, it is checked whether the frequency channel is being used. If this is the case, the radio remote control automatically switches to a free channel. This process is handled in miliseconds and is not noticeable to the user.
Based in Saint Augustine, Florida, Uli has been part of the TowFLEXX team for several years. Since 2020, he has specialized in military and government sales (Airforce, Coast Guard, Navy, Police Department, etc.) and is the primary contact for the entire United States.
c/o Atlantic Aviation
UST – North Florida Regional Airport
4900 US Highway 1 North
Saint Augustin, FL 32086
+1 (904) 770 6183
u.nielen (at) towflexx.com
With many years of sales experience in a senior role, Phill joined the TowFLEXX team in 2019. Since then, he has been in charge of markets worldwide.
+49 152 0186 89 60
ph (at) towflexx.com