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
"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
"Newport Aeronautical Development is pleased to assist with the FAA
certification of such an environmentally significant product," stated
Anders Folkedal, President of Newport
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
-- 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
1. WheelTug/FAA approved Project Specific Certification Plan (PSCP) within
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 http://www.wheeltug.com and read the forward-looking statement at