The engineering department of Thomas Cook Airlines at London Gatwick airport, UK, has taken delivery of a custom Manitou telehandler to handle aircraft components and assist in the removal of damaged parts from airplanes.
The Manitou MRT 2540 Rotary Telescopic is equipped with a 3m fixed access platform with a 600kg capacity, as well as three people. A winch is attached to the frame of the platform allowing up to 300kg capacity on the hook which is suitable for handling high value aircraft components.
A trap door is fitted to the floor of the platform enabling the operator to position the basket over the area for maintenance. Drop down toeplates or kick boards ensures it is easier to work alongside the aircraft. Proximity ultra sound sensors are fitted to the platform to avoid collision damage as well as infra- red sensors which are located on the boom. Two metre blade length forks were supplied in addition to the standard forks for handling the loads laterally.
Cost management is critical to Thomas Cook Airlines as the engineering department at London Gatwick airport does not have a hangar to work in and the cost of hiring one is prohibitive. Crane operation is not permitted in the vicinity of the airport without the authority of the Civil Aviation Authority, which can take up to four weeks. Therefore the MRT 2540 was chosen.