Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Fall 2020


Mechanical Engineering Technology

Committee Chair

Dr. Craig Johnson

Second Committee Member

Professor Charles Pringle

Third Committee Member

Dr. John Choi


In general aviation, pilots use either a tow bar or a tug to maneuver their planes to and from its parking place. A tow bar is a lightweight human powered device that allows a pilot to push and pull his/her pane by themselves using human power. A tug is a similar device, except much bigger and heavier, and is electrically powered, allowing for an easier time maneuvering a plane. The downside to a tug is since they are bigger and heaver, they cannot be taken with a pilot on a trip. The goal of this project was to combine the best parts of both devices, making something that is electrically powered and able to maneuver a Cessna 175 on its own, but is small and light weight enough to be taken with on a trip. The device is made from a 20:1 worm gear set, powered by a 20V DeWalt cordless drill. The drill power is transferred through the gearbox to a set of 8-in pneumatic wheel that will push and pull the aircraft. All these parts are connected to a frame made of 1”x1” T Slot extrusions. The frame can be taken apart into smaller pieces to allow for storage inside a Cessna 175. This project was tested on four areas; ability of device, weight, storage, and usability. The device was successfully able to maneuver a plane on its own, as well as able to be stored in a Cessna 175. Unfortunately, the device’s weight is 100 percent over target, and it takes too long to assemble and disassemble.