By Kevan Goff-Parker, Corporate Communications Director, ATS World Wide LLC.
Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC is leading its contractors in the creation of the first ATS system prototype now undergoing various stages of development and construction with the goal to begin prototype testing next spring. The ATS system is designed to transport an airport’s aircraft to and from runways, ramps and gates without the use of a jet’s main engines.
The photos above display an early artist’s rendering of the prototype and some of the steel cover plates, I-beams and cantilevers, plus some reinforcing rebar that will be installed to support the underground-concrete channel. It will be located under select ramp areas at the Ardmore Industrial Airpark in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
Citadel Construction LLC President Michael Shoemaker will begin and manage construction of the channel in the coming weeks. Once complete, the channel will be used to demonstrate how an ATS electric-powered “pull car,” equipped with an above-ground tow dolly, moves aircraft to and from airport locations using the channel’s underground-rail system.
ATS CEO/Vice President Vince Howie orchestrates the day-to-day operations of ATS while consulting with Polish ATS inventor and company President Stan Malicki. ATS consultants also include Oklahoma State University’s New Product Development Center, Data3, Jviation Inc., Aberdeen Dynamics, Production Machine and Tool (PMT), Poclain Hydraulics and Alan Kirkpatrick, a consulting mechanical design engineer.
Howie said creating a prototype is a “learn as you go” process and there have been design and other changes made, but he’s pleased with ATS’ overall progress.
“Everything is going great,” Howie said. “We’re constructing the pull car and it will transport the used 727 jet we purchased last winter to help us test our prototype.”
Anticipated benefits from ATS include improved safety, fuel savings, a reduction in airport accidents, decreased emissions, as well as increased airport efficiency, a longer jet-engine life, time-management improvements and a reduction in noise.
For more information, contact ATS World Wide LLC Vice President/CEO Vince Howie at (1) 405-694-9861 or ATS Director of Corporate Communications Kevan Goff-Parker at (1) 405-514-3972. Website: https://www.aircrafttowingsystems.com
By Kevan Goff-Parker, Corporate Communications Director, ATS World Wide LLC.
ARDMORE, Oklahoma (04/13/2020) — Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC CEO/Vice President Vince Howie recently climbed aboard the company’s newly purchased Boeing 727 – a jet that was abandoned nearly 13 years ago at the Ardmore Industrial Airpark in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
Accompanied to the airpark by his daughter and son-in-law, Abby and Bill Pogorzelski, Howie said he was finally able to gain entry to the back part of the plane through an emergency access door. When functional, one of the 727’s most distinctive features includes a built-in “airstair” that opens from the rear underbelly of the fuselage. Howie said the jet looked as if “the pilot had just landed the 727, turned off the engines and simply walked away” in 2007.
“When I stepped into the plane, the first thing I saw were two oxygen bottles and a fire extinguisher still strapped in their holders,” Howie said. “Everything looked as if it was ready for the next flight. We were all surprised because the good condition of the aircraft and how it acted as a time capsule from 2007.
“It was also amazing to find the auxiliary power unit (APU) still installed in the trijet aircraft. It was fully functional about 13 years ago when they parked the aircraft. If functional, the APU may allow us to power the brakes and steering for our testing purposes.”
The narrow-bodied jet was first created to satisfy airliners’ growing needs during the early 1960s for a passenger aircraft that could be used at smaller cities with shorter runways. The APU was another Boeing innovation because it allowed air-conditioning and electrical systems to run without a ground-based power supply and without having to start one of the jet’s main engines. ATS’ particular 727-223 was once owned by Kitty Hawk Air Cargo based out of Texas, which went bankrupt in 2008.
Powered by an electric engine and featuring an underground rail channel system, the ATS prototype has been designed to move aircraft to and from an airport’s runways to taxiways and gates — all without the use of an aircraft’s main engines. Anticipated benefits from ATS include improved safety, fuel savings, a reduction in airport accidents, decreased emissions, as well as increased airport efficiency, a longer jet-engine life, time management improvements, and a reduction in noise.
The Kitty Hawk Air Cargo’s final aircraft flight log featured above. It was last signed in August 31, 2007. Airworthiness certificate (above, center). Flight data recorder (far right) and voice cockpit recorder (inset, above). An engine cowl from a different 727 jet (lower right). (Photos courtesy of Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC)
“Our jet will be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of Aircraft Towing Systems,” Howie said. “King Aerospace will also install the engine cowls we discovered inside, clean the aircraft and apply the ATS’ logos. If they can get the APU working, it will allow ATS to power the brakes and steering, which will make testing much safer and easier.”
“We also purchased two new front tires. King Aerospace will also move the jet onto the ATS ramp space where it will be used for the testing and demonstrations of our ATS prototype.”
He said he first noticed the 727 at the Ardmore Industrial Airpark when he visited several years ago and thought he might eventually lease the jet as a test aircraft for the ATS prototype testing and demonstration.
“When I discovered it was abandoned, I asked if I might buy it,” Howie said. “The City of Ardmore then filed for an abandoned title and put it up for auction, so we bought it. We’re excited about the future of our ATS prototype and the innovation it will bring to airports worldwide.
“We believe our strategic investment in this jet will be the perfect instrument to demonstrate how ATS works in the days ahead.”
If you receive an email from our VP/CEO Vince Howie asking for money or a gift card, please know his email address has been hacked. Do not click on any links and delete the email. We are working on a solution now.
Kevan Goff-Parker, Dir. Corp. Comm., ATS World Wide LLC. 405-514-3972
Longtime Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC) Director Victor Bird, a recognized state and national aviation leader who retired as a public servant on Nov. 1, has been named Aircraft Towing Systems (ATS) World Wide LLC’s Chief Operating Officer.
ATS Vice President/Chief Executive Officer Vince Howie said he’s been impressed with Bird’s significant leadership and management talents ever since the pair were matched through Tinker Air Force Base’s Honorary Commanders program more than 20 years ago – the community outreach and interaction program pairs state, legislative and civic trailblazers with key Tinker AFB senior staff for a period of one year.
“We are delighted to have someone of Vic Bird’s caliber on our team,” Howie said. “He’s an aerospace-policymaking and regional-funding airport expert who will help manage ATS as we advance into our next level of excellence. Vic has 36 years of distinguished public service with the state of Oklahoma, with his last 18 years serving as the director of the OAC.
“Vic Bird is the first and only Oklahoman to serve as chairman of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) in its 90-year history, and is the only non-elected public official to receive the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association’s most prestigious award, the Hartranft Award.”
He said Bird also received the General Thomas P. Stafford Award from Oklahoma’s aerospace industry for his outstanding contributions to the industry in 2009. In 2018, NASAO also presented him with its highest award, the Kenneth Rowe Ambassador of Aviation Award.
“Vic’s dedication and skills have made a tremendous and lasting difference in Oklahoma and beyond,” Howie said. “His tenure as director has been marked with distinction from his peers in aviation and aerospace, and professional firsts. He is a nationally respected leader in aviation, and his expertise and advocacy have been instrumental in making aerospace Oklahoma’s second largest industry.”
ATS World Wide LLC President Stan Malicki describes his team is “ecstatic” to have Bird join the company.
“We believe Vic will use his ‘Airvangelism’ to help us make our revolutionary concept a reality.”
Bird said he is also excited to become part of the ATS team.
“I’ll get to work with Stan and Vince, two gentlemen I have immense respect for and to help make this game-changing system a reality,” he said. “Powered and controlled aircraft by the Wright brothers revolutionized travel. The pressurized cabin, the jet engine, and air traffic control made monumental changes to aviation that impacted the world.
“I believe that this safety-enhancing, fuel-saving and environmentally friendly system of moving airliners on and around an airport will have an impact similar in magnitude to these other innovations.”
It was Malicki, a successful Polish businessman, who first envisioned the possibilities of the ATS system. Incorporated in Oklahoma in 2016, the company collaborated early on with Oklahoma State University’s New Product Development Center (NPDC) in the design and is now working with the NPDC and other experts constructing the innovative ATS system.
Howie said Malicki’s dream of creating a way for pilots to move aircraft around airports without the use of a jet’s engines is now entering the prototype construction phase.
“We use an electric-powered pull car/tow dolly system designed to automatically transport aircraft at airports using an underground channel system,” he said. “After a pilot lands, the aviator taxis and drives onto the pull car/tow dolly system. Once the aircraft’s nose wheel is secured, the pilot can shut off the main engines, saving fuel costs for airlines and other air carriers, and significantly reducing carbon emissions.”
He said the beauty of the ATS system is that aircraft move using the underground channel system under the taxiway and on to the appropriate gate, and back, using electricity. The process reduces fumes (air pollution), adds significant fuel savings and increases overall efficiency. Managed by airport tower operators, the system optimizes airport taxiway traffic and equipment in and around flight operations and creates a much safer environment for aircraft at airports.
“We’re excited because unique steel components have already been shipped from Poland and will soon arrive at our prototype test site at the Ardmore Industrial Air Park in Ardmore, Oklahoma. We hope to move an airplane in early 2021,” Howie said.
For more information, please contact Kevan Goff-Parker, director, Corporate Communications, Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC. 405.514.3972 email@example.com
Victor Bird, the recently retired director of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, joined longtime friend, Vince Howie, vice president/CEO of Aircraft Towing Systems (ATS) World Wide LLC, on Thursday night (Nov. 4) at Aberdeen Dynamics in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The pair admired the hydraulics work performed by Aberdeen Dynamics on the ATS prototype’s pull car. They also met with Marcin Szamborski, an ATS investor, and his friend, Dominick Punda. The Polish businessmen are in the U.S. to pick up a Cessna 172 Skyhawk in Wichita, Kansas, and they plan to fly the aircraft back to Poland.
The ATS system is designed to move aircraft around airports without the use of a jet engine. ATS has entered the prototype’s construction stage. Once complete, the prototype will feature an electric-powered pull car/tow dolly system designed to automatically transport aircraft at airports using an underground channel system. After a pilot lands, the aviator taxis and drives onto the pull car/tow dolly system. Once the aircraft’s nose wheel is secured, the pilot can turn off the main engines, saving fuel costs for airlines and other air carriers, and significantly reducing carbon emissions over time.
The ATS system’s underground channel system will be pre-installed under the taxiway and airport gates. The overall process creates many benefits for airports, including a reduction in fumes (air pollution), adds significant fuel savings and increases overall efficiency. Managed by
airport tower operators, the system optimizes airport taxiway traffic and equipment in and around flight operations and creates a much safer environment for aircraft at airports.
For more information, contact Kevan Goff-Parker director, Corporate Communications,, Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC., 405.514.3972, firstname.lastname@example.org
ATS World-Wide CEO Vince Howie poses with his company’s new acquisition, a formerly-derelict Boeing 727 that it will use to test and demonstrate its permanently installed, automated aircraft towing system. (Photo: ATS)
When Vince Howie first noticed the Kitty Hawk Air Cargo Boeing 727 parked forlornly at Oklahoma’s Ardmore Industrial Airpark several years ago, he thought about leasing it someday to test his company’s permanently installed automatic aircraft towing system. Howie’s Aircraft Towing Systems World-Wide (ATS) has been developing the technology in cooperation with Oklahoma State University’s New Product Development Center.
As the prototype of the electrically-powered system nears completion, he inquired about the classic tri-jet’s status. “When I discovered it was abandoned, I asked if I might buy it,” said Howie. “The City of Ardmore then filed for an abandoned title and put it up for auction.” With no other bidders, ATS was able to acquire it for just over the minimum bid.
The aircraft had not moved since 2007, and its former owner declared bankruptcy the following year. When ATS CEO Howie and several other ATS employees and family members went to examine the new acquisition, they found the only entrance that was accessible was the aft ventral airstairs (the same access point the notorious D.B. Cooper used to escape his 1971 mid-air 727 hijacking attempt).
Once inside, it became clear that the aircraft had simply been closed up when its owners walked away. Its flight log ended with entries for its last flight in August 2007, and all interior equipment was still present, down to the fire extinguishers. Its last airworthiness certificate was found in the cockpit, along with some 2007-vintage aviation publications. The Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines had been removed at some point, but their cowlings and thrust reversers were found in the cargo compartment.The 727’s flight engineer station was well preserved, showing its 1960s vintage technology. (Photo: ATS)
Another discovery proved a major bonus for the new owners. “It was amazing to find the auxiliary power still installed,” said Howie, adding that King Aerospace will handle the cleaning and partial refurbishment of the jet. “If they can get the APU working, it will allow ATS to power the brakes and steering, which will make testing much safer and easier.” King Aerospace will also install the engine cowlings, and mount new tires on the aircraft as part of its rehabilitation.
“We believe our strategic investment in this jet will be the perfect instrument to demonstrate how ATS works in the days ahead,” noted Howie. ATS, which would represent a major capital expenditure for an airport, is integrated into the ground control system, and run by the ground control tower personnel. It uses tow tractors that ride along underground, permanently-installed rail channels, leading from the runway to the terminals. Intended to be able to move aircraft with their engines off, anticipated benefits include improved safety, fuel savings, decreased emissions, increased engine lifespan, reduced ground staff requirements, and noise reduction.
Howie told AIN that testing with the 727 should begin in about four months when the prototype installation is completed at the Ardmore Airpark. He expects trials to be completed by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval. “We have several very interested airports and we continue to work with the FAA,” he concluded.
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