The Aero-Pac APT7000 motorised electric tow-bar for the Robin DR400 uses a unique adapter, conceived and prototyped by Mistral Aviation in the UK and developed and manufactured by Aero-Pac in Belgium, that locks into the tow-bar socket of the aircraft’s front wheel.
In the photograph of the adapter opposite, the slot 'A' is passed over the bolt head and nut in the tow-bar socket, then the adapter is twisted using the handle 'B' so the bolt head and nut are contained in the channel 'C' thus preventing the adapter from backing out of the socket. The assembly is then prevented from rotating by tightening the locking bolt 'D'.
The bar connecting the adapter to the motor unit has limited rotational freedom intended to keep both wheels on the ground during turns. This, together with the Aero-Pac motor’s differential gear, enables the Robin aircraft to be manoeuvred, both backward and forward, through as tight turns are as allowed by the aircraft’s nose-wheel mechanism..
A sophisticated power control unit boosts power for start-up and then reduces it in motion, giving a power reserve of about 20 minutes between full charges.
The APT7000 is supplied with a plug-top charger and there is a choice of a precision control handle or a simple twist grip with forward/back switch.
Prices are €2,530† (excluding shipping and VAT) for the motor unit, Robin adapter and plug-top charger. The precision control handle is an additional €588† + VAT. Shipping is approximately €220† + VAT depending on location. Additional adapters for other aircraft with a tricycle undercarriage can be supplied for €275†+ VAT.
Please note that, although the device can be fitted with snow chains, we only have experience of and recommend the APT7000 for use on reasonably dry concrete or tarmac surfaces with only very modest inclines.
† Prices correct as of May 2023. Please contact us for current pricing.