Posted by: Edmund Glueck | December 19, 2013

Senior ME Design Team wins Purdue Mallot Award for “P.E.T.”

Purdue-ME-Project_portable electric towbar_P-E-T_12-11-2013_photoWe want to congratulate the “Purdue Prop Pullers” for their success with their Fall 2013 senior design project! P.E.T. is a portable electric tow-bar for a small plane. The purpose of this device is to enable the pilot to pull his/her plane short distances around a hangar with minimal effort. The team’s objective was to design a small portable, aesthetically pleasing, self-propelled tow-bar that runs on battery power. The tow-bar is first maneuvered around the front wheel of the aircraft, then the lifting mechanism closes and lifts the plane wheel off the ground. The device then proceeded to pull the plane along the ground.

See the device in action:

Customer Needs

  • Should fit in a lightweight plane
  • Must be functional with wheel pants
  • Portable and battery powered

Design RequirementsPurdue-ME-Project_portable electric towbar_pulling plane_12-11-2013a

  • Able to lift light aircraft
  • Weighs less than 60 lb
  • Takes less than 1 min to lift
  • Travels at walking speed
  • Minimal size 12” x 13” x 24”

We are always happy to support college-level design projects by sponsoring aspiring MEs and EEs to get hands-on experience with power transmission and motion control design projects. The winning design included a Bodine type 42A5-FX parallel shaft gearmotor, model #5061, 24 volts, 10:1, 250 RPM, with a rated torque of 83 lb-in.

Purdue-ME-Project_portable electric towbar_P-E-T_12-11-2013_full-assy

Since 2007 the Thomas J. and Sandra H. Malott Award has recognized Mechanical Engineering students at Purdue University for outstanding innovation and creativity. Congrats to Matt, Emily, Mark and Sagar!

Copyright Bodine Electric Company © 12/2013. All rights reserved.

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