E-taxi provider WheelTug and Evionica, an aviation software and training provider, have signed a partnership agreement to develop pilot training for the WheelTug system.
Installed on aircraft as a retrofit, the WheelTug system enables pilots to taxi and maneuver aircraft with main engines off by using electric motors inside the nose wheels. This eliminates jet blast in busy areas and greatly simplifies both pushback and arrival procedures at gates and stands. The system is complemented by WheelTug Vision, the camera and sensor system installed on the aircraft that offers pilots situational awareness.
WheelTug will increase aircraft utilization by reducing turnaround time – the system enables pushback in as little as one minute. In addition to bringing greater reliability to airline and airport schedules, WheelTug also reduces fuel consumption. The system will reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 1,000 kg/day.
WheelTug training will be computer-based and is not expected to exceed 60 minutes. For interested airlines, WheelTug will offer fixed-base training as well.
Mateusz Godun, CEO of Evionica, stated: "Any solution that cuts taxiing times, boarding times, fuel emissions and also relieves congestion at the world's busiest airports presents a massive breakthrough in aviation. We are delighted we have been chosen to provide all the necessary training tools pilots will need to operate WheelTug safely in their aircraft."
“With the WheelTug system technological design completed and production version ready, this is the right time for Evionica to prepare a training course for our operators – primarily pilots, but also trained technicians for aircraft repositioning,” said WheelTug CEO Isaiah Cox.
Having signed letters of intent with more than 25 airlines worldwide flying thousands of aircraft, WheelTug expects that 20,000 operators will train on the WheelTug system in the next three to four years.