February 10, 2012

Electric Taxi to the runway

Honeywell has developed an electric motor system that will allow aircraft to taxi to and from the runway without starting their main aircraft engines. The new technology will be undergoing trials shortly with a UK airline EasyJet on an AirBus 320. 

Aircraft engines operate most efficiently at high altitude, so keeping the engines off when the aircraft is on the ground can save a lot of fuel. Airlines estimate the system will result in a 4% total fuel savings - which will also reduce the airline's greenhouse gas emissions. 

The electric motors would be powered by the aircraft's Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) which is designed to supply power to the aircraft  when the main engines are turned off. 

Other advantages: 

Aircraft will no longer have to wait for aircraft tugs to push the aircraft back from the gate. 

This system will reduce wear and tear on aircraft brakes and extend engine life. 

This should also make the aircraft ramp a much quieter place. 

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