SOURCE: WheelTug Limited

September 10, 2007 00:01 ET

WheelTug Completes Certification Team

Addition of Newport Aeronautical Marks the Beginning of FAA Certification Effort for WheelTug®

NORTH PLAINS, OR--(Marketwire - September 10, 2007) - WheelTug Limited is pleased to announce the addition of Newport Aeronautical Development, Inc. to its certification team. WheelTug® certification work is commencing now, and Newport will provide a turnkey service to ensure that WheelTug meets Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards for a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC). An STC is a document issued by the FAA approving a product (aircraft, engine, or propeller) modification. This will allow WheelTug to supply customers such as Delta Air Lines with WheelTug units for their Boeing 737 fleet.

"We are delighted to be working with Newport Aeronautical," said Isaiah Cox, WheelTug's CEO. "They are a world class organization, with a superb track record of working closely with their clients and the FAA to achieve excellent results. We will also continue to be advised by Gil Thompson, who joined the team in May to advise WheelTug management on the certification process, and who recommended Newport Aeronautical as the ideal partner for us. Our certification team is now complete, and good to go."

"Newport Aeronautical Development is pleased to assist with the FAA certification of such an environmentally significant product," stated Anders Folkedal, President of Newport Aeronautical Development.

The proprietary WheelTug technology is designed to allow airplanes to taxi without using their main engines, saving expensive jet fuel and reducing harmful emissions. The technology consists of special high-torque AC electric motors in the nosewheel hub that can drive the aircraft without the need for external tugs. In tests, a prototype WheelTug module moved a fully loaded Boeing 767 in a series of maneuvers similar to those performed by commercial aircraft.

WheelTug and Delta Air Lines recently entered into an agreement in which the airline will assist WheelTug in developing the system and be the launch customer for the 737NG WheelTug worldwide, with the right to acquire WheelTugs for its own 737NG fleet. The agreement also gives Delta the right of first refusal to provide installation and maintenance services on WheelTug systems in the United States for itself and for other airlines that desire such services. Delta has also taken an option to buy up to 600,000 shares of WheelTug plc at an average price of $36 per share.

Newport Aeronautical has a rich history in the development of joint ventures for profitable combination of resources, both domestic and international, in aircraft manufacture and modification in the following areas:

--  FAA Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for transport category major
    aircraft modifications, structural, interior, cockpit and systems.
--  Marketing of development products and services for various clients.
--  Project planning and management.
--  Certification and flight test program plans.
--  Preliminary engineering design trade-off studies, concepts and

The agreed goals of the WheelTug/Newport Aeronautical agreement include the following:

1. WheelTug/FAA approved Project Specific Certification Plan (PSCP) within
   six months.
2. WheelTug B737NG Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), Instructions for
   Continued Airworthiness (Maintenance Manuals) and accompanying
   components Parts Manufacturer Approvals (PMAs) issued by December 2009.
   It is the intention to certify WheelTug for all members of the 737NG
   family, from the 737-600 through to the 737-900ER.
3. European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) reciprocal EASA STC, and
   Transport Canada Civil Aviation reciprocal TCCA STC issued concurrently,
   or within 60 days, of FAA STC issuance.
4. B737NG Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) revised to allow dispatch
   with WheelTug system inoperative within 90 days of FAA STC issuance.
5. Set foundation of positive partnership with FAA to facilitate success
   of future WheelTug system installations on other aircraft.

Among the potential benefits of the WheelTug system are reduced fuel consumption, noise and emissions, shorter aircraft turnaround times between flights and a reduction in flight delays. The congested nature of many international airports also means that eliminating the frequent use of tugs to haul aircraft could also make a positive impact on airside safety.

WheelTug Limited is a 100% owned subsidiary of WheelTug plc, which is in turn a majority-owned subsidiary of Chorus Motors plc (PINKSHEETS: CHOMF). Chorus has developed the proprietary Chorus® Star and Chorus® Meshcon™ electric motor technologies, which offer substantial performance improvements over comparable motor and drive systems. The Chorus systems produce high torque at start-up speeds and are ideal for traction applications besides aircraft, including automobiles, trucks, locomotives, and ships. WheelTug® and Chorus® are registered trademarks of Borealis Technical Limited. Please visit WheelTug's website at and read the forward-looking statement at

Contact Information

  • For further information please contact:

    Chris Bourne
    Head of Public Relations
    +44 (0)20 7993 4293
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