The Air Force needs to perform a hunt for tractors after 25 tractors which were bought in order to tow fighter aircraft failed to perform the task. Now there is doubt about the ability of the newly tractors as well.
The original tractor purchase proved to be a snafu because it for safety reasons was not suitable for the job:
To fly airplanes and helicopters.
A contract was therefore signed last summer to buy another type of tractor, but this might also prove to be unsuited for the task, according to Klassekampen.
“In our assessment (…), it does not meet our requirements for towing aircraft equipped with pitot tubes, similar to the F-16.
– A test program must be developed for satisfying operational and functional requirements for towing of the F-35, according to an evaluation report.
A Pitot tube measures air velocity and is mounted as a spike at the forward end of the nose on the F-16.
Worst case scenario is that the tractor driver can be stabbed by it if the tractor is unable to hold the aircraft back.
Head of Department in Defence Materials, Øyvind Heien, said that the evaluation the paper refers to is part of a survey. In May, an operational test will be carried out to see if the new tractor can do the job.
– It is the test that will form the basis for determining whether we will trigger an option to buy up to twelve tractors for use with the F-35. It has not been decided yet, says Heien.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today