WheelTug is looking for a European airline to partner to enable it to certificate its electric wheel drive for ground manoeuvring of Airbus A320 family aircraft.

Electric nosewheel drive allows the pilot to back away from gates and taxi without the use of the aircraft's engines or a tug. WheelTug, which is a unit of Europe's Chorus Motors, has tied up with French group ADDAC to develop and certificate the WheelTug system for the A320 "and seek co-operation of a European A320 operator", says ADDAC.

ADDAC says its members include engineers, pilots, flight attendants, air traffic controllers, mechanics and airport ground staff.

In April, Delta Air Lines agreed to invest in WheelTug to develop a wheel drive system for the Boeing 737 Next Generation models. As launch customer, Delta is to install the first units on its fleet of 737s. Regulatory approval is expected in 2009, according to Chorus.

Source: Flight International