More than 200 times a safety benefit on runways

AS 990 in the field, Airport Toulouse
AS 990 in the field, Airport Toulouse

This makes the machine manufactured in St. Blasien an international model of success. In July 2011, the 200th machine of the 900-series will be handed over. The recipient is the Air Force of the Kingdom of Belgium, the "Belgian Air Component".

With a sweeping speed of 40 km/h, a sweeping width of 2,300 mm, a hopper capacity of 9.5 m3 and a flow-optimised suction port, the AS 990 is capable of cleaning an area of up to  140.000 m2/h. It is designed to be used on all service and traffic areas of an airport – including runways. This is also appreciated by the Belgian Air Force. It purchases three AS 990 machines for its bases at once: the serial numbers 199, 200 and 201.

"The AS 990 complies with the latest environmental regulations according to the EU standard and its Euromot IIIb auxiliary engine with 210 kW has received the sign-off. The AS 990 can thus be used worldwide without any restrictions", Holger Stehling, Managing Director of Schmidt Winterdienst- und Kommunaltechnik, explains. "This makes it a global airport sweeper and especially interesting for international airport operators and air forces maintaining several bases throughout the whole world."

200th AS 990 Delivery to Belgian AirforceThe three AS 990 machines are delivered with orange paint finish, mounted on Iveco trucks and equipped with Euro-V engines. The airport sweepers for the Belgian Air Force are equipped with the PMB 2400 permanent magnet bar. It reliably picks up magnetic objects at a width of 2,400 mm, a field density of approx. 300 gauss and a ground clearance of approx. 100 mm. Together with the additional pickup sensor mounted directly in front of the suction port, the stringent requirements of military customers concerning the avoidance of F.O.D. are perfectly complied with. F.O.D. stands for Foreign Object Damage and is understood to be the damage of the airplane, for example the tyres or the engine, caused by sucking in foreign objects. "The requirements of regular operations at civil airports are already fulfilled without this pickup sensor", Stehling explains.

Last year, the sweeping and suction unit of the AS 990 was flow-optimised and modified. "As a result, it has become even more effective, since it produces more power with the same engine", says Claus Zumkeller, who is involved in the development of the AS 990. The suction fan generates an air volume of 32,000 m3/h and reliably sucks up dust, rubbing, leaves, de-icing agents or oil into the hopper with a stainless steel floor pan.

The rear blast nozzles of the currently delivered AS 990 machines also contribute to increasing safety on runways. They conduct a strong air stream onto the traffic area and thus either simply blow loose debris, such as leaves, aside or allow for cleaning and drying the traffic area in a single operation.

Military and civil airports equally rely on the performance of the AS 990. "The 100th machine was also delivered to the air force", Holger Stehling thinks back to the last anniversary handover. This high-performance sweeper had been ordered by the US Air Force. The Euro-Airport in Mulhouse, France, the airports of Shanghai, Dubai, Palma de Mallorca or Düsseldorf also use AS 990 machines.

Holger Stehling: "The AS 990 is a true success story. After delivering the machines to Belgium, additional handovers are already scheduled." The Managing Director is pleased not only for the entire Aebi Schmidt Group, to which the Schmidt Winterdienst- und Kommunaltechnik GmbH belongs, but also especially for the location of St. Blasien. "The success of the AS 990 is a success for our staff in the German parent factory. This is where a small machine is built that provides for a safety benefit at airports all over the world."