News & Events

LEKTRO Moves The Blue Angels

Lektro pulling a blue angel jetHillsboro, Ore. / July 18, 2015 – Aircraft tugs built in Warrenton, Oregon, are used for precise positioning of the Blue Angels

LEKTRO is proud to support the Oregon International Air Show with two of their all-electric, towbarless aircraft tugs for use by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Team. The Warrenton, Oregon, based company provided two of their AP88 series aircraft tugs which are commonly used by regional airlines and militaries around the world.

The Blue Angels do not transport their own tugs and require the host organization provide tugs to move their famed F/A-18 Hornet jets. LEKTRO volunteered two of their tugs to the Oregon International Air Show, which assigned them for the Blue Angels use in addition to using them for moving many current and vintage aircraft flown in the air show.

Since the Blue Angels had never used a towbarless tug like LEKTRO’s, the company provided training for their ground crews, all of whom quickly became proficient.

“It’s faster and safer for both ground personnel and aircraft. Plus, it is emissions free,” LEKTRO Communications Director, Henry Balensifer stated.

Conventional towing methods require staging towbars, then manually positioning and pinning them to the nose gear of an aircraft, which can cause injury to operator and stress the aircraft nose gear. Additionally, towbars are often specific to an aircraft which can cause clutter if there are more than one model of aircraft. LEKTRO’s towbarless capture method eliminates the need of a towbar by using patented cradle technology that gently lifts the nose landing gear and secures it with a soft strap.

“We’re proud to support Oregon’s premier air show and proud to support our nation’s Navy.”

For the editor:
LEKTRO is an Oregon based company founded in 1945 that specializes in the design and manufacture of electric vehicles. LEKTRO founder Wilt Paulson invented the first towbarless tow vehicle in 1967, revolutionizing aircraft towing. Eric, his son, took over the company in 1985, overseeing the development of the larger, modern tugs LEKTRO builds now. LEKTRO is celebrating its 70th anniversary in business this year, capping off decades of pioneering electric vehicle production such as the first electric mink feeder and first electric golf cart. A single family ownership has guaranteed uncompromising reliability and function in LEKTRO’s products as well as unsurpassed product support. “My father began producing electric vehicles well before electric vehicles were cool,” added Paulson.

Oregon International Air Show is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Net proceeds from the event are returned to the community through donations to local charities and non-profits.

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