The future operation of aircraft will need to meet ever-demanding emission and efficiency targets and therefore innovative solutions are required to support both new and in-service aircraft fleets.
WheelTug are a company that has developed a pioneering concept to meet these challenges. They are developing a taxiing system, which consists of a nose wheel mounted motor and drive, powered by the aircraft’s Auxiliary Power Unit. The ultimate goal of the system is to save time, engine life and fuel use, resulting in reduced emissions and significant cost savings. The company approached Stirling to assess the system feasibility due to our unique landing gear systems capability.
An added challenge for Stirling on this project is the lack of OEM information, which necessitates a reverse engineering approach to develop representative aircraft and landing gear to support the design process. As this is such a novel system, we have had to assess the FAA certification requirements to determine what is applicable and to provide the suitable means of compliance.
Stirling have developed a process to achieve the FAA-certified STC for the system. After successfully completing the system feasibility work, our team were also asked to conduct a preliminary loads analysis and generate the certification plan for submission to the FAA.
Says Isaiah Cox of WheelTug:
The team at Stirling Dynamics has consistently delivered superb product on very tight deadlines. Their reports and analyses have been impressive: professional in rationale and appearance, complete, and technically accurate. When we send work to Stirling, we are always confident that it is in the very best of hands - they continue to exceed our most demanding expectations.