Aircraft Towing Systems’ Purchase of an Abandoned Boeing 727 Reveals Aviation History from 2007 at Ardmore Industrial Airpark

By Kevan Goff-Parker, Corporate Communications Director, ATS World Wide LLC.

Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC CEO/Vice President Vince Howie stands before the formerly abandoned Boeing 727 that ATS WW LLC purchased in late February at the Ardmore Industrial Airpark in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Last week, he, one of his two daughters, Abby Pogorzelski, who, like her father, is also a part-owner of company, and Howie’s son-in-law, Bill Pogorzelski, all climbed aboard the 727 to discover the plane’s interior. They entered through the emergency access door because it was the only way available to the back of the plane. (Photos courtesy of Aircraft Towing Systems 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.”

Two sets of jet engine cowls. (Photos courtesy of Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC)
Above, the intake and fuel control for the auxiliary power unit. (Photos courtesy of Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC)

For more information about ATS WW LLC, please call Kevan Goff-Parker, director of Corporate Communications, ATS WW LLC, at 405-514-3972, kevan.goff-parker@atswwco.com or contact Howie at 405-694-9861 or write him at vince.howie@atswwco.com. Website: https://www.aircrafttowingsystems.com

Media outlets may download photos with photo credit listed as “Photos courtesy of Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC” at : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9htgbn7odwx93i2/AACDGVaB8EOVx4FfgqyUje9da?dl=0

Centerlines Magazine

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SUPPLIER NEWS

AIRCRAFT TOWING SYSTEMS PARTNERS WITH OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY ON NEW TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM

BY VINCE HOWIE, VICE PRESIDENT & CEO

ATS WORLDWIDE LLC

Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC (ATS) and Oklahoma State University’s New Product Development Center (NPDC) are developing a proto- type designed to move aircraft to and from airport taxiways and gates without the use of a jet’s main engines.

Led by OSU’s NPDC Director Robert Taylor, Ph.D., the center began working on the project in November 2016 and it’s currently developing a testing system for the prototype. The OSU team also recently nominated ATS for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s “Business Partnership Excellence Award,” which was presented at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma in March.

“The unique ATS concept originated with Polish businessman and entrepre- neur Stan Malicki, along with the help of his hand-picked international engi- neers,” Taylor said.

Taylor noted that Malicki, President of ATS, likes Oklahoma’s pro-business environment and friendly workforce. Company Vice President/CEO Vince Howie is a partial owner of ATS and meets weekly with the NPDC ATS team as they fulfill the research, development and design on the contract.

“When we started working on the proj- ect in 2016, we basically had a package and pretty much a blank slate before we created a team out of converged de- partments, professors and mechanical, aerospace, civil, electrical and computer engineering undergraduate and gradu- ate students, including five Ph.Ds.,” Taylor said. “Our research and development of ATS provides students with real-world experience, and that is what our center is wrapped around – the commercializa- tion of new product development and contributing to economic development in Oklahoma.”

ATS broke ground at the Ardmore Industrial Airpark in November 2019, and

installation of the un- derground channel for ATS’s electric-powered railway system should be complete under select portions of the airport’s ramp areas by this summer.

“I suspect there are

small bits and pieces

we’ll need to adjust,

which is common when

you introduce a proto-

type and test the sys-

tem, but we’re excit-

ed,” Taylor said. “Some

of the benefits of ATS

will be a reduction of

fuel emissions, and it

should improve effi-

ciency, as well as an

increase in safety because ATS will be run by ground control, so there should be few if any aircraft accidents on the ground. With a fully installed ATS sys- tem, a pilot can land on a runway and move onto the taxiway, where he or she can align the aircraft’s nose wheel into an ATS pull car.

“Once the nose wheel is secured, a pilot can turn off the main engine and ATS safely moves the aircraft using its chan- nel system to the appropriate gate,” he added. “The reverse process is used when pilots are ready to take off. Pilots will then turn on their engines and drive off the pull car, move into position and take off.”

Howie, former Director of Aerospace and Defense for the Oklahoma Depart- ment of Commerce, said Taylor and the OSU NPDC team are doing work that may revolutionize the way airports run in the future.

“ATS is fully automated, powered by an electric motor that moves aircraft au- tonomously using a rail system located in a channel just below the surface of select portions of the airport taxiways

AIRCRAFT TOWING SYSTEMS WORLD WIDE LLC VICE PRESIDENT/CEO VINCE HOWIE STANDS BEFORE A BOEING 727 AT ARDMORE INDUSTRIAL AIRPARK IN ARDMORE, OKLAHOMA. THE PLANE WILL BE USED TO TEST AND DEMONSTRATE HOW ATS MOVES AIRCRAFT AUTONOMOUSLY USING A RAIL SYSTEM LOCATED IN A CHANNEL JUST BELOW THE SURFACE OF SELECT PORTIONS OF THE AIRPORT’S TAXIWAYS.

and gate areas,” Howie said. “ATS will ne- gate the need for tug-and-cart equip- ment and associated personnel. We do foresee increased operational efficiencies, including the potential to increase the speed of airport gate turnover, as well as environmental and safety benefits.”

Howie said ATS has the potential to provide solutions to the challenges of wasted aircraft fuel because fuel will be saved when the main engine is shut off.

“We believe ATS will reduce harmful fuel emissions, decrease noise around airports and potentially extend jet engine life, all while reducing aircraft collisions,” Howie said. “This will create an overall safer and more efficient takeoff and landing system.”

He said ATS has been happy with the type of work the OSU NPDC team has performed.

“The kind of work they do has really been outstanding, so we’re really thrilled,” Howie said. “It has been a marvelous re- lationship. People are excited to see the prototype operational.”

For more information about ATS, please visit http://www.aircrafttowingsystems.com. <

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4

Vintage 727 Airliner Deployed to Test New Aircraft Towing System

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2020-04-23/vintage-727-airliner-deployed-test-new-aircraft-towing-system

AIR TRANSPORT: Vintage 727 Airliner Deployed to Test New Aircraft Towing System

by Curt Epstein – April 23, 2020, 5:42 PM

Vince Howie with Boeing 727

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.727 flight engineers stationThe 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.

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“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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ATS World Wide LLC and COVID-19

At Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC, we want you to know our company recognizes the challenges felt around the world because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As an international Oklahoma-based company, our hearts and prayers go out to everyone affected. 
At ATS, we are following shelter-in-place and other advisories from our top health agencies. We’ve been able in this environment to allow our employees to continue the important work we started more than three years ago. We’re using online tools like teleconferences, phone calls, emails and more to accomplish constructing the ATS prototype for testing purposes and its eventual debut to the public.

Most importantly, please stay safe in the days ahead and feel free to contact us if you have questions or need further information at (1) 405-694-9861 or send me an email atvince.howie@atswwco.com.

 Thank you!

 Vince Howie

CEO/Vice President
Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC

OSU and Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education Honors Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC

(L-R) Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education Awards Luncheon Master of Ceremonies and State Regent of Higher Education Mike Turpen poses with ATS World Wide LLC CEO/VP Vince Howie after the innovative prototype company was recognized with a “Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award” for its work with OSU’s New Product Development Center.

‘Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award’ to honor Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC Thursday

Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC CEO/Vice President Vince Howie stands before a Boeing 727 at Ardmore Industrial Airpark in Ardmore, Oklahoma. The plane will be used to test and demonstrate how ATS moves aircraft autonomously using a rail system located in a channel just below the surface of select portions of an airport’s taxiways and gates.

EDMOND, OK (3/10/2020) — Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC (ATS) has transformed from a Polish inventor’s dream into an exciting ongoing creative venture with Oklahoma State University’s New Product Development Center (NPDC).

The OSU team’s innovative research, development and design for the revolutionary transportation system has transitioned into the construction phase of the prototype and test site. Designed to move aircraft to and from airport taxiways and gates without the use of a jet’s main engines, ATS’ R&D evolution has been led by OSU NPDC Director Robert Taylor, Ph.D.

OSU recently nominated ATS for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s (OSRHE) “Business Partnership Excellence Award” and ATS will join others at 11 a.m. Thursday during a luncheon at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma. The honor highlights such successful partnerships and how they further cultivate the higher learning environment through OSRHE’s Economic Development Grants.

Taylor said OSU is grateful for the regents’ ongoing support of bringing innovative business opportunities to Oklahoma.

“The unique ATS concept originated with Polish businessman and entrepreneur, Stan Malicki, along with the help of his hand-picked international engineers,” Taylor said. “Stan was attracted by Oklahoma’s pro-business environment, friendly workforce and he’s now president of ATS, which was incorporated in Oklahoma in 2016.

“ATS is both a state and internationally based company,” he said “ATS CEO/Vice President Vince Howie is also a partial owner and meets weekly with the NPDC ATS team. But, when we started, we had a package and pretty much a blank slate before we created a team out of converged departments professors and mechanical, aerospace, civil, electrical and computer engineering undergraduate and graduate students, including five Ph.Ds.

“ATS provides our students with real-world experience and that’s what our center is wrapped around – the commercialization of new product development and contributing to economic development in Oklahoma.”

ATS held a groundbreaking celebration at the Ardmore Industrial Airpark in November 2019. The installation of the underground channel for its electric-powered railway system should be complete by this summer.

“I suspect there are small bits and pieces we’ll need to adjust, which is common when you introduce a prototype and test the system, but we’re excited,” he said. “Some of ATS’ benefits should include a fuel-emission reductions, heightened efficiency and safety because ATS will be run by ground control, so there should few if any aircraft ground accidents. Pilots can land on a runway, move onto the taxiway and align the aircraft’s nose wheel into an ATS pull car.

“Once the nose wheel is secured, the pilot can turn off the main engines and ATS safely moves the aircraft using its channel system to the appropriate gate. The reverse process is used for takeoffs. Pilots will then turn on their engines, drive off the pull car and move into position for takeoff.”

Howie, former director of Aerospace and Defense for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, said the OSU team is doing great work that should noticeably improve the way future airports operate.

“ATS is fully automated, powered by an electric motor and moves aircraft autonomously using a rail system located in a channel just below the surface of an airport’s taxiways and gates,” Howie said. “ATS will negate the need for tug-and-cart equipment and associated personnel. We foresee increased operational efficiencies, including increasing the speed of airport-gate turnover, as well as environmental and safety benefits.”

He said ATS has the potential to provide solutions to the challenges of wasted aircraft fuel because fuel will be saved when main engines are shutoff.

“We believe ATS will reduce harmful fuel emissions, decrease noise around airports and potentially extend jet-engine life, all while reducing aircraft collisions,” Howie said. “This will create an overall safer and more efficient takeoff-and-landing system.”

He said ATS World Wide LLC is pleased with the OSU team’s performance.

“The kind of work they do has really been outstanding, so we’re really thrilled,” Howie said. “It has been a marvelous relationship. People are excited to see the prototype operational.

“We believe there’s a super bright future for this opportunity, not just for OSU, but because we believe this is the next phase of automation for airports worldwide.”

For more information about ATS and 300 DPI photos, click https://www.aircrafttowingsystems.com or contact Kevan Goff-Parker
Director of Corporate Communications, ATS World Wide LLC
(1) 405.514.3972 or call ATS World Wide LLC CEO/VP Howie at (1) 405.694.9861.