From WheelTug yesterday:


WheelTug Initiates Manufacturing Process

WheelTug is excited to announce that it has secured a 37,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Baltimore, Maryland. The facility will serve as the nexus of assembly, test and logistics operations for global WheelTug deliveries.

The fit-out of the facility and the design of the assembly line is being managed by WheelTug’s new Director of Manufacturing, Jack France. Mr. France brings significant experience to the role. He previously held senior manager positions at Honda North America, and GE/Honda Aero. In those roles, he was responsible for the quality of every Honda part and vehicle made in North America. He was also responsible for coordinating with certificating and regulatory authorities, including the FAA and numerous civil aviation authorities worldwide.

The new facility and production management expertise enables WheelTug to meet existing and future demand for WheelTug systems. So far, 25 airlines on five continents have reserved more than 2,000 WheelTug systems.

The on-board electric WheelTug systems enable airline operators to cut between 5 and 20 minutes from every turnaround operation by taxiing on the ground without engines or tugs.

WheelTug will be available for the Boeing 737NG family in 2022. An A320 version will follow.

To learn more about WheelTug visit www.wheeltug.com.


I wouldn’t go crazy buying more BOREF on this news (Borealis owns 58% of WheelTug) — and no one did.  Volume in the stock was 682 shares yesterday, closing at $6.98, a market cap (with 5 million shares outstanding) of $35 million.  A single Boeing 737 costs way more than that.  Yet, if successful, WheelTug could make the 737’s 10% more efficient — the equivalent of adding 700 planes to the 7,000-plane fleet.  (Less time at the gate allows each plane to complete more flights.)

What’s that worth?  And what’s saving 10 or 20 minutes per trip worth to the millions of passengers who fly?  And what’s it worth to airports to be able to handle more passengers without building more gates?

I don’t know, but I’d guess a lot more than $35 million.

The big question is whether WheelTug will be able to pull all this off.  Will they ever need that 37,000 square feet of just-leased space?  (“If you lease it, they will come.”)

The company has a long — long — track record of missing target dates.  And yet from what I can tell, it has serious people and partners working hard, often for little or nothing but WheelTug stock, to make the dream come true.  Which is why this is a speculation only for money you can truly afford to lose; but also why I have a bazillion shares.

What is life without a dream?



SOMETHING HOPEFUL

In first for Gulf, UAE opens embassy in Israel, hails trade ties


SOMETHING BEAUITFUL

Rare “glass” octopus filmed in remote corner of Pacific Ocean


SOMETHING UNAMERICAN

Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost — an 8-minute interview with the Wall street Journal reporter who tells the tale.



SOMETHING PATHETIC

As recounted by Rachel Maddow Monday night (I’d much prefer to link you to the clip, but they don’t seem to allow that anymore, so I’ve condensed the transcript):


This is a story that dates back to the summer of 2015 when a man named Donald Trump first announced he was running for president.

The very next day, we ran a segment about what appeared to me to be fairly convincing evidence that the Donald Trump presidential campaign launch seemed to be the first in U.S. history where the candidate actually had to pay actors to show up and pretend to be supporters. . . .

. . . [B]y the day after the Trump campaign launch, “The Hollywood Reporter” actually got its hands on an e-mail sent out by a company called Extra Mile Casting . . . a company that provides extras for photo shoots and movies and TV shows and stuff.

. . . An e-mail blast sent out to their list of actors, their list of potential extras who they hire for all sorts of different gigs, said:

“Hi there. We`re working with our associates at Gotham Government Relations. We`re working with them on a big event happening Tuesday, June 16th. This is an event in support of Donald Trump and an upcoming exciting announcement he`ll be making at this event. The event will be televised.”

That`s an important thing for people who are considering extras gigs.

“We`re looking to cast people for the event to wear t-shirts and carry signs and help cheer him in support of his announcement.  We understand that this is not a traditional background job but we believe acting comes in all forms, and this is inclusive of that school of thought. The event is happening live and will be from 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.”

Then in all caps: “THAT’S LESS THAN 3 HOURS.”

Meaning even if this sounds disgusting to you, it`s less than three hours. And the rate for this event is 50 bucks cash at the end of the event. Isn`t that an easy way to make money?

Quote: “We would love to book you if you are interested and still available. Please let us know.”

So the day after this reality show guy Donald Trump announced his campaign for president we reported on this story. . . . It`s not normal for a politician to have to pay people to pretend to support his campaign. That`s sort of crazy, right?

Especially because at that campaign launch event filled with actors Trump went out of his way to talk about his huge crowd and how much bigger his crowd of supporters was compared to the other candidates at their launch events. Yeah, he paid for them. That`s a story, right? By rights that should become like a foundational thing that you know about a candidate.

It`s like finding out that a politician has a secret second family. You can like never forget that and talk about what their stance is on light rail. You`re always thinking, like, “Isn`t that the dude who had the secret second family?”

A politician paying fake supporters to pretend to be there in support of his candidacy? That`s crazy. You can never escape that, right?

So the day after Trump announced his presidential campaign, we covered that that day, we got so much shade for that. It was like we stepped on their tail, the way they screamed.

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski denied it in the most uncompromising terms. He said: There is nobody who believes that when Donald Trump goes somewhere, he does not generate the biggest, largest, and most rambunctious crowds on the planet.

He said, quote: “It is just not true, unequivocally. The Donald Trump campaign and Donald Trump did not pay anybody to attend his announcement.”

That was Trump`s campaign manager in 2015 when we first covered that story, and they screamed bloody murder. Boy, did we get a raft of shazizzle for our coverage of that story.

Now that same Trump campaign manager admits that actually the story was true. The same Trump campaign manager telling “Business Insider” that it really was, quote, “$50 for every person to come in to stand in Trump Tower.”

Ah, now they admit it. We knew it from the beginning. We reported it from the very beginning. But all the lies and the denial and the volume of the complaining and the counterattacks, somehow kept it from being one of the foundational things we understood about this little disastrous adventure we`ve just been through . . .


Trump came down that escalator to the applause of cheering paid actors and, a year and a half later, on January 20, 2017, ended the American Century.

 

 

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