SOURCE: WheelTug plc

WheelTug plc

January 20, 2011 18:28 ET

WheelTug® Releases Tow Test Video

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC and GIBRALTAR--(Marketwire - January 20, 2011) - WheelTug plc is pleased to announce that a video summary of 737NG tow tests conducted in Prague has now been released to the public.

The video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTsdpaXUi1Y, in both regular and high definition.

Isaiah Cox, WheelTug plc's President and CEO, explained: "The tests we conducted verified the preliminary design of the in-wheel WheelTug system. We collected considerable data about the forces required from an onboard electric drive system, and we had the added bonus of working in very adverse conditions, including during the middle of a snow storm which resulted in snow, ice, and wet runway conditions."

The video shows Chorus® electric motors attached to the nose wheels of a Boeing 737-800 driving the aircraft at taxi speeds and executing nose-driven 180-degree turns entirely under pilot control.

Mr. Cox continued, "The data we gathered are being applied to the demonstration program for the first WheelTug. This system, which is now at the final engineering stages prior to the actual build, will be within the wheel well envelope to avoid extensive modifications to the airplane."

The tests were featured on the most popular Czech TV nightly news, Nova. The news clip can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt-f8wb5Ryw.

Cox added, "We are very pleased with the results of these tests, which show a broad operating envelope. WheelTug will maximize savings and operating efficiencies for airlines and aircraft operators."

The equipment used in Prague was solely for data gathering purposes. Production versions of WheelTug will be integral to the wheel, and will be fully retractable.

The patented and proprietary WheelTug® hybrid-electric drive system uses high-performance electric motors installed in nose gear wheels of an aircraft, providing full mobility while on the ground, without the use of the aircraft's jet engines or external 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 noise and engine foreign object damage (FOD) yield projected operating cost savings of more than $500,000 per aircraft per year, plus significant reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.

Many organizations assisted WheelTug in conducting the latest tests:

  • Letiste Praha a.s. (www.prg.aero), operates the Prague Airport, and provided wide-ranging support and ATC coordination.
  • Travel Service Airline (www.travelservice.aero), the Prague-based low-cost and charter airline, provided the aircraft, flight crew, and mechanical and logistical support.
  • Czech Airlines Technics (www.czechairlines.com) provided hangar space and technical support, including installation/de-installation and aircraft weighing.
  • GSE Services (www.gse.cz) provided the external power generator, truck and drivers, and other support.
  • 3M Peltor (www.peltor.com) provided ground communications equipment.
  • also TE-DI (www.tedi.cz) for shaft alignment; PROVOS (www.provos.cz) for chain shrouds, TORQUE s.r.o. (www.torque-systems.cz) for sensor calibration; and Alpha Group (www.alpha-group.com) for catering, and United Labels for video production.

WheelTug plc is a majority-owned subsidiary of Chorus Motors plc (PINKSHEETS: CHOMF). Forward Looking Statement may be found at http://www.chorusmotors.gi/fwdlook.shtml

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