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Old 12-06-2006, 03:45 PM   #1
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Hmm - a new Tow Vehicle in the works?

So do you think the Touareg makes a good tow vehicle - how about the 747 as a trailer?

Volkswagen Touareg successfully tows a Boeing 747
22 November 2006

A Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI has succeeded in towing a Boeing 747-200 weighing approximately 155 tonnes. Watched by engineers, Volkswagen personnel and bemused passers-by, the Touareg V10 TDI completed seven complete runs on the auxiliary runway at Dunsfold Aerodrome, 40 miles south west of London.

The vehicle was a standard production Touareg fitted with a special towing adaptor to connect it with the aircraft towing link and loaded with 4.3 tonnes of metal ballast to bring its total weight to just over seven tonnes (7,030 kg) including the driver, an engineer from the technical department at the company’s headquarters in Germany.

The car’s engine, self-levelling air suspension, wheels, tyres and structure were all standard. One precaution that turned out to be unnecessary was the fitment of the 4.56 axle ratio from the Touareg V8 model in place of the 3.27 gearing of the V10. This was established as the demonstration was conducted in the second of the Touareg’s 12 forward gears rather than first. The final modification was to change the outer body panels for photographic purposes so that this example was visually the same as the next generation Touareg which is due to be launched next year.

The attempt was designed to demonstrate the reserves of strength and durability of the Touareg V10 TDI. This model won The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year Awards full-size 4x4 category in 2004 and 2005 and has established itself as the benchmark diesel SUV, offering an extraordinary combination of performance and fuel efficiency since it was launched in 2003.

A theoretical towing capability in excess of 200 tonnes was calculated by multiplying the 553 lbs ft of torque generated by the V10 TDI engine through the standard transmission’s lowest ratio and without taking into account the torque multiplication benefits of the torque converter. This however assumed a dry surface and loading the Touareg’s body and suspension well in excess of its rated limits.

An initial trial was carried out successfully in Germany with an operational Boeing 747-400 weighing 190 tonnes but it subsequently became difficult to obtain an aircraft for the length of time and in an appropriate location to conduct a press demonstration. Colleagues therefore requested Volkswagen UK to obtain a suitable aircraft and location.

The result was an ex-British Airways Boeing 747-200 weighing 155 tonnes. The aircraft, first flown in 1980 and retired last year retains its full complement of 500 seats, 11 toilets and complete landing gear, albeit without an operating braking system. The original engines were removed last year to make way for dummy items used in the filming of a recent motion picture. Despite this, the aircraft still weighs 155 tonnes, due in part to the 28 tonnes of water held on board in the fuel and nose tanks.

The changes to the Touareg are more modest. Modifications extend to the addition of 4,345 kg of ballast in the form of steel plates set behind the front bumper and beneath the engine. The balance of the ballast was made up by bags of steel balls weighing 25 kg each. The result is a split of 2,755 kg over the front axle and 4,275 kg over the rear to bring the total to 7,030 kg which includes Uwe Krieghoff, the nervous driver. He was not prepared to say how much his body contributed to the 7,030 kg total.

Conditions for the attempt were far from perfect. A strong headwind combined with torrential rain and resulting standing water prompted concerns over traction on the wet surface. Despite the scale of the attempt the vehicle needed little preparation. The engine was warmed up before a brief visual inspection of the tyres prior to the attempt being given the green light.

The Touareg’s standard towbar (fitted with an adapted towing bracket) was hooked up to the nose wheel collar of a Boeing 747 and the chocks were removed. At the wheel Uwe selected ‘drive’ and the low ratio, second gear setting on the Touareg’s six-speed gearbox. The required tractive effort is at its highest during the initial pull to overcome the static friction of the aircraft tyres on the runway. Flatspots form on the aircraft’s 18 tyres under the 155 tonnes of weight and additional resistance must be overcome to get the aircraft rolling.

Uwe pressed the accelerator around halfway down in second gear before easing off as the aircraft gained momentum. With no visible loss of traction the Touareg began dragging the 231 ft airframe of the 747 along the runway, maintaining an even five mph in the process. Having covered an estimated 150 metres the driver eased back on the throttle before slowly engaging the Touareg’s brakes to slow both the vehicle and the aircraft to a stop.

After the attempt Uwe commented: ‘I was a bit disappointed we couldn’t find something heavier to tow as it was a bit too easy! If anyone could lend us a heavier aircraft then please let us know.’

The vehicle was checked after the repeated runs and no side effects of the demands made on the engine and transmission could be found. The engine temperature remained normal, as did the transmission and the tyres survived without a hint of the forces passed through them.
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Old 12-06-2006, 04:32 PM   #2
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At first glance one would think WOW, that's pretty amazing......

Until you see that something like this can do the same thing that has a significantly smaller engine...maybe not at 5mph, but you get the point:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/12v-A...53750068QQrdZ1

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Old 12-06-2006, 04:41 PM   #3
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amazing picture, thanks for posting it. I had heard this version of the Toureag was not going to be available in N. America, is that correct?
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Old 12-06-2006, 04:45 PM   #4
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I have seen few of them for sale around the states. I've heard different rumors that yes, it would be only a matter of time to no way. Not sure if the ones that were for sale here met US safety standards either, but I did see them for sale here.
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Old 12-06-2006, 04:48 PM   #5
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gonna have to get some extended mirrors

plus the surcharges at koa's will be outrageous
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Old 12-06-2006, 04:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakBluMule
plus the surcharges at koa's will be outrageous
LOL!!
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Old 12-06-2006, 04:50 PM   #7
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Quote:

Volkswagen Touareg successfully tows a Boeing 747
22 November 2006



After the attempt Uwe commented: ‘I was a bit disappointed we couldn’t find something heavier to tow as it was a bit too easy! If anyone could lend us a heavier aircraft then please let us know.’
I didn't know that Uwe was making these kinds of demos

Hmmm - brakes, load levelers, 1/2 ton vs 3/4 ton, tire ratings, what kind of towing mirrors, hitch extensions, Gas vs Diesel, Ford/GM/Dodge. Maybe all of our questions and opinions here on the forums are irrelevant.

I wonder what would have happened if he had taken it up to about 40 - 50 MPH then did a panic stop?

This kinda reminded me of the A/S being towed by a bicycle.
Dave
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Old 12-06-2006, 04:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt

This kinda reminded me of the A/S being towed by a bicycle.
Dave
Or an Intrepid!
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Old 12-06-2006, 04:53 PM   #9
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Yeah, yeah, yeah... so it can tow a few extra pounds... what's the big deal... look at my avatar! But what do you s'pose it gets for fuel mileage towing that thing on the freeway? Huh? Huh? You'll notice that there's no mention of a Hensley here? I'll bet those dumb engineers weren't even using sway control at all....

OMG... I just had a thought... PLEASE don't let 'em see this at Can-AM RV!!!!

Roger
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Old 12-06-2006, 05:34 PM   #10
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And I was told that my Caprice wouldn't tow a 26 footer!!

I guess that 34 limitted is not out of the question....
At a gound speed of 5 mph it would take how long to get to Yellowstone.....
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Old 12-06-2006, 07:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
amazing picture, thanks for posting it. I had heard this version of the Toureag was not going to be available in N. America, is that correct?
the diesel came in initially...then they stopped bringing them...

the emissions technology was too new/different/effective and the u.s. folks needed more proof that it worked...

it does.

now available again...hold on 2 your wallet.

that photo has been on the vdub/audi boards for awhile...

think of it like a tug boat/barge relationship...

or those ripley photos with people pulling trucks with their eyelids...

or other hanging skin parts...

still very very cool...

cheers
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:07 PM   #12
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This photo really isn't hard to understand ,if you get that load moving
on a flat surface as it is on ,overcoming the initial weight resistance ,yet
rolling on tires ,low resistance, it will be able to do it .they needed to add four tons to the vehical and then put a 10 cylinder engine in it .They should
try it with a stock vehical ,no ballast added or anything . If it can't do it stock then whats the point really ,as alot of vehicals can do it .VW tried
a stunt with the airstream sometime back and claimed it could tow 7000
pounds and all ,reality showed up and it was found out that vw made up
this to try to sell vehicals ,so this is yet another stunt .

Scott
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:28 PM   #13
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scott

read the press release...

the v10 diesel is a stock engine...

"The car’s engine, self-levelling air suspension, wheels, tyres and structure were all standard"

and the t rex IS rated to tow 7700+lbs currently and not counting payload.

perhaps you are thinking of the cute beetle ad with an airstream...

they did have to stop that ad...

the wheel base and w/d hitch are the limiting factors for the t-rex...
but we have discusssed that many times already...

as for the ballast...

ever seen a tractor pull contest?
or the 4/4 mud pulls...
all american contests to be sure...
and they ALL use ballast


cheers
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Old 12-06-2006, 09:51 PM   #14
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If a Toureg can tow 155 tons at 5 mph, it should be able to tow 5 tons at 155 mph.

Someone want to check my math?
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