WheelTug

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WheelTug is a fully integrated ground propulsion system for aircraft which puts a high torque electric motor into the hub of the nose wheel to allow for backwards movement without the use of pushback tugs and to allow for forward movement without using the aircraft's engines. WheelTug will drive the aircraft with power supplied by the onboard APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) rather than engine power reducing emissions, fuel usage, and foreign object engine damage from runway debris. The first version is being designed for the Boeing 737NG with delivery expected in 2013.[1] Wheeltug is a subsidiary of Borealis Exploration Limited. According to a company press release as of January 1, 2014, WheelTug's Order Book was 731 aircraft systems, across 13 airlines.[2] Wheeltug's annual financial statements for the year ending 31 March 2013 includes an audit by Moore Stephens accounting firm which raises doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern.[3]

History[edit]

Boeing Phantom Works and Chorus Motors tested the WheelTug Concept on an Air Canada 767 in June 2005 at the Evergreen Air Center at Pinal Air Park in Marana, Arizona.[4] WheelTug Limited and Co-Operative Industries completed an Electrical Load Measurement (ELM) on a B737NG in January 2010 at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, GA to confirm sufficient power.[5] Tests were conducted at Prague Airport in November 2010 in snowy and icy conditions. The first fully 'in-wheel' demonstration unit was tested at Prague Airport June 2012.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IN FOCUS: Manufacturers aim for electric taxi EIS by 2016". Flightglobal.com. 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  2. ^ http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20131021-906829.html
  3. ^ http://www.wheeltug.gi/reports/FY2013/Wheeltug_plc_annual_report_2013.pdf
  4. ^ "Boeing Demonstrates New Technology for Moving Airplanes on the Ground - Aug 1, 2005" (Press release). Boeing.mediaroom.com. 2005-08-01. Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  5. ^ http://www.wheeltug.gi/press/pr_WT20100201.shtml[dead link]

External links[edit]