EBACE Convention News

Forget the Wheel, Company Reinvents the Aircraft Chock

 - May 23, 2017, 4:00 PM
Collapsible Alpha Chocks are lighter than rubber-based products and simple to use. They will be standard equipment on the Pilatus PC-24.

“We have reinvented the airplane wheel chock,” Alpha Chocks directing manager Daniel Stieger told AIN. Stieger, who retired last year as the flight department manager at Novartis, said he saw a need for lighter, more compact chocks that could be carried aboard a business jet for use at airports where chocks are scarce.

“The Novartis pilots hated having to carry multiple sets of bulky rubber chocks on trips to Africa,” he said. “I knew there had to be a better solution.”

Once he retired, he quickly got to work on such a solution, and the result is a collapsible, forged aluminum chock that weighs just 1.3 kg (2.9 pounds). “A set of six weighs less than one rubber chock,” Stieger explained.

The Series 1 Alpha Chocks can handle aircraft with an mtow of up to 55 metric tons (121,300 pounds), meaning anything from light pistons to ultra-long-range business jets. Stieger said that he is working on a larger Series 2 version for airliners and bizliners.

The chock has a simple over-center locking system, eliminating the need for complicated locking mechanisms and making removal an easy, one-handed operation. Because it collapses with a pull of a handle, the Alpha Chock cannot get stuck, unlike rubber chocks that become wedged between the wheel and ground.

A single Series 1 chock costs CHF360 ($370), and a set of six with a plastic carrying case is priced at CHF2400 ($2,466). But the company is offering promotional prices of CHF300 ($308) and CHF2000 ($2,055), respectively, this week at EBACE 2017 (at the Mototok booth W106). The Swiss-made Alpha Chocks, which are corrosion-resistant and designed for long life, will be standard equipment on the Pilatus PC-24, Stieger said.