WheelTug secures nod for certification plan

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has accepted the certification plans for the WheelTug aircraft electric drive system for Boeing 737NG aircraft.

The WheelTug system enables an aircraft to taxi forward and backward, using small electric motors in its nosewheels rather than jet engines or a tow tug. It could benefit airlines by well over $1 million per aircraft per year, reduce fuel consumption and emissions at airports, and save up to 20 minutes in ground time between flights.

Additionally, WheelTug will enable aircraft to parallel park at terminal gates; using two doors for narrowbody boarding and deplaning will allow for even more expedited travel.

The WheelTug system will allow airlines to reduce overall time on the ground, improving schedule reliability as well as fleet productivity. WheelTug can also reduce noise, emissions and safety risks.

The FAA Seattle Aircraft Certification Office has approved the Project Specific Certification Plans for the WheelTug system. These plans detail how WheelTug will comply with all relevant regulations in order to be granted a Supplemental Type Certificate. The STC is a key document for aircraft operation, and once granted, WheelTug can be installed on aircraft.

WheelTug will first be available for the Boeing 737NG family of aircraft; entry into service is expected in late 2018. Versions for other aircraft types are also planned. WheelTug’s order book already totals almost 1,000 systems for aircraft from 22 airlines worldwide.

To learn more about how WheelTug works and how it will benefit flyers, airlines, airports, and the environment, visit http://www.wheeltug.com. Videos of WheelTug tests can be found at http://media.wheeltug.com.

Posted in Airlines, Airports, Innovation, News

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