Econic semi-trailer with 36,000-litre capacity.
At London Farnborough Airport, two Mercedes-Benz Econic semi-trailers with a tanker body provide their services. The trucks are based on the 18-tonne Econic 1824LL chassis and are responsible for fuelling all kinds of planes.
The Mercedes-Benz Econic fulfils key requirements for this kind of specialised usage as standard, with features that include a low overall height which makes it possible to drive under aircraft wings, good manoeuvrability courtesy of the hydraulic automatic transmission (Allison) and a low cab concept to facilitate getting in and out frequently. Large windows offer a good all-round view.
Special modifications to transport hazardous goods.
For transporting hazardous goods, the Econic were fitted with a Jost fifth wheel coupling and converted into 4x2 semi-trailer trucks at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Molsheim, which specialises in constructing special-purpose vehicles. Extensive modifications were necessary to comply with strict ADR regulations. This work was carried out in the UK by Flightline Support, a company based in Witney near Oxford specialising in airport vehicles. Interlocking systems were installed to prevent the vehicle from moving during refuelling, as well as speed limiters that restrict the top speed to 20 mph (approx. 32 km/h). Hydraulics to pump fuel using the truck’s PTOs were also fitted. The semi-trailer holds 36,000 litres of jet fuel.
Airport with tradition and requirement.
Farnborough has been a centre of military and civil aeronautical research for a long time. The first powered, sustained flight in Great Britain was made at Farnborough in 1908. Since 1948 the airport has also hosted the biennial Farnborough International Airshow, which regularly attracts almost a quarter of a million visitors.