Plane nerds, this one is for you…

The holiday rush is in full swing at Dubai International Airport, with as many as eight million passengers expected during the month of December.

And while your main concern as a traveller is making it to your destination, there’s a whole lot happening in the background to ensure your journey goes smoothly from start to finish.

Dubai-based air services provider dnata has released a behind-the-scenes video that gives an insight into one of the key pieces of machinery helping your plane depart the airport.

It’s called a pushback tractor, and is used to help tow planes into position. As the video explains, aircraft don’t have a reverse gear, so the pushback tractor plays a crucial role in “pushing” the plane away from the gate so it can take off (car website Jalopnik explains how it all works in more detail here).

The pushback tractor weighs between 30 and 70 tonnes, and can push aircraft weighing up to 550 tonnes (now, that’s pretty impressive). Dnata operates 67 of them across Dubai’s airports, handling more than 260 departures a day.

So, if you’re heading away for the festive season, spare a thought for these hardy little vehicles, literally setting you up for your holiday.

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