Airbus, Safran, Honeywell partner on electric taxiing system
Dec. 19, 2013, Paris, Fra. - Airbus is partnering with EGTS International, a joint venture between aviation suppliers Safran and Honeywell Aerospace, to develop and evaluate an automatic electric pushback and taxiing system for the A320 aircraft family.
The aircraft maker has signed an agreement with EGTS to evaluate the JV's Electric Green Taxiing System, referred to by Airbus as eTaxi, as a new option on the A320.
The system will enable the aircraft to pushback from the gate without a tug, taxi-out to the runway, as well as go back to the gate after landing without operating the primary engines.
eTaxi makes this possible by using the aircraft's auxiliary power unit (APU) to run the electric motors fitted to the main landing gear wheels.
Pilots are able to have complete control from the cockpit over the aircraft's speed and direction during taxiing.
"Pilots are able to have complete control from the cockpit over the aircraft's speed and direction during taxiing."
Honeywell Aerospace EGTS Programme vice-president Brian Wenig: "Airbus will provide extremely valuable insight to facilitate a seamless integration into the aircraft."
According to Airbus, the operational and environmental advantages offered by eTaxi include 4% reductions in CO2 and fuel savings, improved taxiing operations and time-saving on pushback; and more than 50% reduction of taxiing-related carbon and nitrous oxide emissions.
The partners plan to unveil a global commercial case and implementation programme in the next few months to determine the feasibility of an electric taxiing system for the A320 range.
Airbus spends more than €300m annually to improve the A320 family's capabilities and performance.