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Elevating Transfer Vehicle (ETV) for ULD storage


  • The Elevating Transfer Vehicle is an independent rail-mounted unit with elevating an roller deck platform to raise and lower Air Cargo Pallets and ULD containers between interfacing equipment and storage system at all system levels.
  • An inverter controlled wire rope hoist system is used for raising and lowering the platform, and an inverter controlled rail drive system provides horizontal movement.
  • Hoist motor/gearbox arrangement has an electromechanical brake system to support the load when not at base level.
  • Operator controls inside cab.
  • Automatic positioning and docking with absolute horizontal and vertical positioning to +/- 1mm
  • Fully automatic or semi-automatic operation available.

Print Document

Elevating Transfer Vehicle (ETV)

Elevating Transfer Vehicle (ETV)


The Elevating Transfer Vehicle (or ETV) is an all-electric vehicle designed and constructed to store/retrieve, hold and transfer air cargo pallets and ULD containers up to 14,000 kgs along the length of track. The ETV interfaces with powered interface lanes or friction driven storage decks as required within the Client’s Air Cargo operation.

Technical Data:

Load Capacity


Horizontal Track Speed

> 120 meters per minute

Elevation Speed

> 15 meters per minute

Roller Deck Transfer Speed

18 meters per minute

Safety Sensors

End of Aisle Automatic Slow Down (encoder system).
Platform Grab (snatch gear), over-speed governor
Emergency Stop systems 
Over height control
Track obstruction detection
Pallet overhang detection
Deck props engaged sensing
Pallet stops up sensors (where stops fitted)


Emergency Fall Back

Traction drive brake releases

Platform lowering override

Deck drive override

Manual pallet stop activation (where fitted)

Auxiliary towing bars

HMI maintenance override system


The position measuring is achieved using linear encoding systems. The BDP designed control system therefore has absolute positional information in both the vertical and horizontal planes.

The ETV runs on and is guided by floor-mounted double crane rails running the full length of its track.

The ETV structure comprises of a heavy-duty shop-welded base frame and superstructure supported on wheels with heavy duty bearings and split casings.

All wheels are adjustable for vehicle alignment and tracking purposes. Adjustable horizontal (rail) guide wheels are installed at the front and rear of the vehicle.

The elevating transfer deck comprises of a heavy-duty steel shop welded frame suspended from lifting wire ropes used, via the hoisting system, to raise and lower the cargo platform to various interface levels with the cargo storage system.

Non-slip operator walkways are installed between rollers.

Full width guides are installed on both sides of the roller deck,  sufficient to allow the ETV operator to pass with a full size ULD or Main Deck air cargo pallet on the deck.

To control safe movements of air freight, photoelectric pallet sensors are installed at each end of the cargo deck platform.

Hard wired travel limit systems are provided at each end of each axis to prevent vehicle overrun.

Emergency stop buttons are located on all 4 corners of the vehicle, at principal maintenance points and at each of the operators control consoles.

2 stage laser sensors are fitted on at the front and the back of the ETV. These are used to detect obstructions within the aisle.

The ETV has automatic safety grab systems (snatch gear). This is integrated into the lifting system to prevent drop of cargo deck and operator cab in the event of a hoist system failure.

Maintenance props are integrated in to the vehicle’s superstructure to enable maintenance to be safely carried out beneath the cargo deck.

An escape ladder is provided for means of emergency escape from operator’s cab should the equipment malfunction in raised position.

The vehicle is controllable by a single operator.

A “key” controlled override system is made available to override normal safety systems. These must only be used in extreme conditions and by a specially trained supervisor.

Traction drives are fitted with manual brake releases to enable ETV to be pushed along the rails. It is an integral feature of hoist system that it could be manually lowered in order to remove freight.

Elevating Transfer Vehicle (ETV)

Elevating Transfer Vehicle (ETV)