Aerospace & Defense News - Technology Europe.

 
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New York, Geneva (AirGuideBusiness - Aerospace & Defense News - Technology Europe) Jun 16, 2013

AirBerlin AirBerlin Reserves WheelTug Delivery Slots. WheelTug plc announced today the execution of a Slot Purchase Agreement with Air Berlin. With 110 new reservations the order books of WheelTug[umlaut] aircraft drive systems grow to 549 delivery slots reserved by ten airlines from Europe, America, the Middle East and the Far East. airberlin is one of Europe's leading airlines. Offering 150 destinations in 40 countries and award-winning service, airberlin is the first choice for more than 33 million travellers. 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. Current commercial aviation practice utilizes a tug for aircraft gate pushback, while forward taxi is powered by the aircraft's engines. Typically, a taxiing Airbus A320 or Boeing 737NG aircraft burns 24 to 27 pounds of fuel per minute. The electric WheelTug unit needs only four pounds of fuel per minute by using the aircraft's auxiliary power unit (APU), representing an 80% reduction in ground operation fuel consumption. In addition to lower ground operation fuel consumption, other intended benefits of the WheelTug[umlaut] aircraft drive systems include: removal of the time and safety costs of the use of ground tugs, substantially reduced carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, increased safety and flexibility of operations, faster turnaround times, reduced engine wear and repair costs, and decreased noise pollution. WheelTug estimates the total savings at over US$700,000 per aircraft per year. WheelTug Systems will be offered to the airlines entirely on a lease, or power-by-the-hour basis, so that the systems can be installed and operated on aircraft without any capital expenditure on the part of the airline whatsoever. WheelTug plc successfully installed and tested the first in-wheel WheelTug in Prague in June 2012. Video from the tests is available at: http://media.wheeltug.com. Jun 14, 2013

Airbus Airbus preps A350 for debtut flight by powering up engines. Airbus powered up the Rolls-Royce XWB engines on its A350 for the first time in preparation for the aircraft's debut flight. Flight trials for the A350 should be completed within 12 months. Airbus has booked...

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