It was a wet and windy day at Pappy Boyington Airport (COE, Hayden Idaho) when we introduced our brand new Supertow Striker to a Cessna CJ-3.
We have been taking advantage of opportunities to test out our new Striker on any and all planes. The CJ-3 was high on our list! Even though the sky was overcast to the point of monochrome, the bright green Striker glowed as if lit from within.
The quiet battery operation struggled to be heard above the winds.
As we approached the CJ-3, I was struck by how beautiful this aircraft is. This is what comes to mind when you think 'executive' or 'celebrity'. As we got close, 'big' also crept into my mind. I imagined how difficult it may be to swing this big, beautiful and very expensive airplane around inside of a hangar full of other CJ-3s. It's moments like that that make me happy to be part of a company that builds aircraft ground handling equipment designed for maneuverability and safety.
We were up to the nose wheel. I removed the chocks while Brian lined up for the maiden load (or voyage, I guess). The CJ-3 pilot and several airport denizens lined up to watch (a bright green aircraft tow tends to gather attention).
There's always a tense moment preceeding loading a new plane for the first time. We don't use winches or straps or other contraptions so we have to rely on our painstaking research and meticulous manufacturing practices to win the day. Plus, there were a lot of eyeballs on us - some, I am sure, hoping we fail and give them some entertainment.
Brian lightly throttled the tug and PRESTO! the CJ-3 ever-so-gently eased into the carriage. It was almost as if the plane had been waiting for the Striker all of its life!
After a few minutes of moving the CJ-3 and having it spin in its own wheel base (we have the original Lazy Susan that allows full rotation of the aircraft without turning the nosegear!), Brian gave the controls to the pilot.
The pilot of the CJ-3 has used other ground support equipment including tugs and was almost instantly a pro.
After a few more minutes of loading and unloading, pushing and pulling, we snapped some pics and got this great video
Take a look at our great new, fully electric aircraft mover!