TEL AVIV, ISRAEL--(Marketwire - Nov 7, 2011) - EL AL Israel Airlines Ltd. and WheelTug plc announced today their execution of a Letter of Intent to enter an agreement under which EL AL will obtain a substantial part of the initial production of WheelTug Aircraft Drive Systems for Boeing 737NG Aircraft for installation on their own aircraft subject to financial and operational feasibility checks and regulatory approvals.
EL AL, established in 1948 as the national Israel Airlines, has grown into a prestigious international carrier, covering every aspect of service, assuring that passengers' requirements are met on time, every time.
The WheelTug® electric drive system uses high-performance electric motors, installed in the nose gear wheels of an aircraft, to provide full mobility while on the ground, without the use of the aircraft's jet engines or tugs for both pushback and taxi operations.
WheelTug enables aircraft to be electrically driven from the terminal gate to the takeoff runway, and upon landing from runway exit to the gate. The resulting improvements in efficiency, flexibility, fuel savings, and reduced engine foreign object damage (FOD) yield projected savings a substantial operating expenses per aircraft per year, plus substantial reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.
The WheelTug system is being developed initially for the Boeing 737NG, one of the world's most widely flown aircraft; systems for other models of commercial and military aircraft will follow.
WheelTug plc, based in Gibraltar, is developing the new technology. It is a majority-owned subsidiary of Chorus Motors plc (PINKSHEETS: CHOMF), also based in Gibraltar.