21 NOVEMBER 2011


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Article from BTNews 21 NOVEMBER 2011

WheelTug aircraft ground propulsion system for El Al

El Al Israel Airlines has become the first airline to commit itself to the novel WheelTug electric aircraft ground propulsion system.  The units will be installed on the airline’s Boeing 737 New Generation series aircraft.

At a time when fuel prices are at record levels the WheelTug electric drive system uses high-performance electric motors, installed in the nose gear wheels of an aircraft, to provide full mobility while on the ground, without the use of the aircraft's jet engines or 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 engine foreign object damage (FOD) reduces operating expenses per aircraft per year, plus substantial reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.

WheelTug says that whilst the system is being developed initially for the Boeing 737NG, one of the world's most widely flown aircraft; the concept, which uses two small proprietary in-wheel Chorus Meshcon motors, will prove to be viable for other models of commercial and military aircraft. www.wheeltug.gi

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