Nose-Wheel Motors Promise Significant Operational Savings
Gibraltar-based WheelTug reports that it has orders – “slot reservations” – for its tug-eliminating nose-wheel motor systems for 785 aircraft, including four for Canada’s Air Transat and 50 for an un-named buyer of Boeing’s new 737 Max jet. The addition of Air Transat brings WheelTug’s airline customer total to 14 in Europe, America, the Middle East and Asia.
“The electric WheelTug unit drives the aircraft without using the engines,” WheelTug says.
Airlines save time parking and unloading the aircraft and cooling its brakes before the next flight, WheelTug says. “Because the system is in the nose gear, there is no interference with brake cooling, allowing aircraft to reduce turnaround time by as much as 15 to 20 minutes per flight. This can lead to a dramatic increase in fleet utilization, as well as passenger satisfaction.”
$1 Million per Aircraft per Year
Other benefits, the company says, include lower fuel consumption and emissions, increased safety and operational flexibility, and decreased noise pollution (F&F, April 9, 2012).
Savings can amount to a staggering $1 million per aircraft per year, the company claims.
WheelTug says it is in active discussions with more than 300 airlines worldwide, and expects to surpass 1,000 slot reservations this year.
In late 2012 the firm publicized a deal with Parker Aerospace to incorporate the system into Parker’s wheels for Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 jets (F&F, December 2, 2012).
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WheelTug, Jan Vana, +420-724-276-506 or +1-410-419-0082; [email protected]
Source: WheelTug with Fleets & Fuels follow-up