Prague airport tests new electric tug system

Washington DC
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A new technology that enables aircraft to use onboard electric motors to taxi between terminal gates and runways is being tested at Prague-Ruzyne Airport.

The WheelTug system is designed to reduce aircraft emissions, fuel consumption and noise at airports. It operates with a patented electric drive system that incorporates an electric motor installed in the nosewheel of an aircraft, providing full mobility on the ground. It eliminates the need to run the aircraft engine or tugs for gate pushback and taxi operations.

"Prague Airport is a wonderful addition to the WheelTug team," says WheelTug CEO Isaiah Cox. "As we move development from initial tests through to certification and product launch, we need to work closely with an airport to ensure that the WheelTug system is compatible with, and optimised for airport operations."

The first systems are being developed for the Boeing Next Generation 737 aircraft family and are expected to receive government certification by early 2012. Systems for other aircraft models will follow.