SOURCE: WheelTug plc

WheelTug plc

November 28, 2011 09:35 ET

WheelTug® System Saves Time, Improves Safety of Ground Aircraft Operations

GIBRALTAR--(Marketwire - Nov 28, 2011) - WheelTug plc today is pleased to announce the release of a new aircraft ground handling simulation produced by Airport Research Center GmbH. The simulation, produced using ARC's Comprehensive Airport Simulation Tool (CAST), compares the aircraft taxi-in, taxi-out and ground handling process between a commercial aircraft equipped with WheelTug®, and an aircraft utilizing engines and ground tug for taxi and pushback.

"The simulation is quite detailed, and we're proud to be working with airport and simulation specialists of ARC's expertise," said WheelTug CEO Isaiah Cox.

The simulation reveals overall time savings of about two-and-a-half minutes for every gate turn. The CAST/WheelTug simulation video can be viewed at, and a high-resolution video can be viewed and downloaded at

Beginning from the taxi-in process, the simulation shows that aircraft utilizing WheelTug can be approached and serviced by ground personnel at least 15 seconds earlier than aircraft utilizing engines for taxi-in thrust.

On pushback for departure, WheelTug-equipped aircraft can push back from the gate immediately upon completion of servicing and tower clearance, while unequipped aircraft must await the arrival and connection of a ground tug. This adds a further immediate benefit WheelTug of at least 15 seconds.

Upon completion of pushback, a WheelTug-equipped aircraft can begin taxiing forward immediately. Meanwhile, an unequipped aircraft must wait for tug disconnection and engine startup prior to beginning forward motion. This results in a WheelTug time advantage of at least an additional two minutes.

"In addition to time savings, one of the clearest visible benefits is the improvement in safety for ground personnel," noted Jan Vana, WheelTug Director, and head of European Development. "WheelTug eliminates the risk of jet blast around the gate, because WheelTug removes the need for aircraft to use engines for ground propulsion."

"In the competitive and cost-pressured sector of commercial aviation, anything that saves time, improves safety and raises predictability is a welcome benefit," said Vana. "We're proud to be offering airlines a system that accomplishes all three, while substantially reducing operating expenses."

"We're pleased that our assessments of increased process safety, reduced risk, higher speed and efficiency and greater predictability have been emphasized not at least through the support of ARC's CAST simulation," remarked Cox. "We're excited that WheelTug will bring these benefits directly to airlines, passengers, ground crew and the public."

"It is important that any simulation be based on the best available information," added Cox. "Before the simulation-building process even started, WheelTug conducted extensive on-site data gathering, observing and recording the details of hundreds of pushback, taxi-in and ground handling events, giving us a thorough understanding of WheelTug's ability to enhance the safety, speed, quality and efficiency of these phases of aircraft operation."

ARC products and services include market research, airport systems and master planning, expert consulting in air traffic and airport operations. The Airport Research Center also provides strategy development, as well as evaluation and assessment of decision options for airports, airlines and all other participants in worldwide aviation.

The WheelTug system is being developed initially for the Boeing 737NG, one of the world's most widely-flown aircraft; systems for other commercial and military aircraft will follow.

WheelTug plc is a majority-owned subsidiary of Chorus Motors plc.

A full listing of WheelTug risk-sharing development partner companies is on the company's website at, as well as information on airline launch customers.

WheelTug is a keynote speaker at the 5th Annual Flight Operations Conference, being held on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, 29th & 30th November 2011, London Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom.

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