SOURCE: WheelTug plc
FARNBOROUGH, UK–(Marketwire – July 21, 2010) – The Czech Republic aviation industry is stepping forward as an important player in the greening of airlines and airports with the announcement that Travel Service Airline, the Prague-based low cost and charter carrier, will actively support development of a new technology enabling aircraft to use on-board electric motors to taxi between terminal gates and runways.
Travel Service, named among the 100 Best Companies of the Czech Republic, will provide WheelTug with valuable operational information, as well as access to aircraft in connection with the design, development and testing of the WheelTug® system.
Announced at the Farnborough International Airshow, Travel Service joins WheelTug plc, Letiste Praha, a. s., operator of the Prague Airport and numerous other partners engaged in development and certification of the WheelTug® system, a patented electric drive system incorporating high performance electric motors installed in the nosewheels of aircraft.
“As one of the fastest growing charter airlines in Central Europe, we are very much interested in reducing our fuel consumption, ground handling cost and emissions of all kinds. We are encouraged by the relative simplicity of WheelTug system and especially with the fact that it can be installed as a retrofit to the existing aircraft literally overnight. We are pleased to support WheelTug development by providing access to our aircraft, as well as data and operational feedback,” stated Roman Vik, General Director of Travel Service.
“Travel Service is a wonderful addition to the WheelTug team,” said Isaiah Cox, WheelTug’s CEO. “They have been assisting with development since March, which was pivotal for the ‘in-wheel’ packaging design we recently announced. We look forward to growing this relationship during development and certification of the WheelTug System.”
WheelTug, appearing at Farnborough booth H2/C-3, is a unique concept in aircraft ground operations. This patented electric drive system incorporates high performance electric motors installed in the nosewheels of aircraft, providing full mobility on the ground without the use of the aircraft engines or tugs for gate pushback and taxi operations. WheelTug enables aircraft to be driven without using their engines from the terminal gate to the runway, and from runway exit to the gate, upon landing. The resulting improvements in efficiency, flexibility, fuel savings, reduced engine damage and CO2 emissions yield projected savings of more than $500,000 per aircraft per year. The WheelTug system is projected to reduce aircraft taxi-mode fuel consumption and CO2 emissions both by 66%, and to reduce hydrocarbon emissions by 75% per flight cycle.
The first systems are being developed for the Boeing 737NG aircraft family, and are expected to receive government certification by early 2012; systems for other aircraft models will follow.
About WheelTug plc:
WheelTug plc, based in Gibraltar, is developing the WheelTug electric drive system to move aircraft on the ground. http://www.wheeltug.gi WheelTug is a majority-owned subsidiary of Chorus Motors plc (
About Travel Service:
Travel Service Airline
Travel Service Airline, established in 1997, is the largest Czech private air carrier and one of the fastest growing charter airline companies in Central Europe. Since 2004, it has been operating regular low-cost flights in Europe under the “Smart Wings” brand. Travel Service Airline flies to more than 250 airports worldwide throughout the year. In 2009, Travel Service Airline transported 2.7 million passengers not only in the Czech Republic but also in Hungary (Travel Service Kft). Travel Service’s fleet comprises 26 modern aircraft.