We are all aware of the long wait in our sets on an airplane after the boarding process is complete and the plane lifts off. Stirling Dynamic and WheelTug have partnered up to design a self-drive nose wheel for Boeing’s 737NG jet airliner, that speeds up the process of the aircraft pulling away from the gate.
The self-drive nose wheel will contain electric motors powered by the aircraft’s Auxilary Power Unit (APU). This will allow the pilot to move away from or towards the gate without requiring any assistance from a ground tug-vehicle. The aircrafts can now fly at higher and higher speeds but they still take forever to pull away from the gate before taking off. According to a report from Flightwatching, 98 % of the planes take 13 minutes for the plane to pull away from the gate which is a cause for annoyance for the passengers.
We need to understand that an airplane is not like a bus and has no means of propelling itself forward or backward except using the thrust from its engines. It is normally moved by a ground tug-vehicle. Both these options are a cause of delay as jet engine exhausts restrict the path of other planes trying to move in or out of the gate and tug-vehicles need the tug to be properly attached first and sometimes problems arise with the tow gear.
The self-driving nose wheel allows the plane to move forward and backward under the control of the pilot and does not require a tug-vehicle to drag it to places. This decreases the time from 13 minutes to 1 minute. WheelTug says it can save a minimum of 7 minutes per flight.
“We are proud to work on this innovative technology with the WheelTug team, this new contract is another step forward in seeing this innovative technology reaching the marketplace,” says Stirling’s Aerospace Business Manager, Bandula Pathinayake.
We will see this technology in working soon It will save precious minutes for the passengers and make the airlines more efficient.