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GoAir for EGTS Electric Taxiing

March 14, 2014 in Aviation, Electric Drive, Technology by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Honeywell-Safran System to Be Tested by India Carrier,
System Has the Distinction of Having Major OEM Support

The EGTS electric ground taxiing system in development by Honeywell Aerospace and Safran is to be tested by India’s GoAir, the companies said this week.

Honeywell and Safran estimate that total savings for airlines using EGTS could range from $200,000 to $450,000 per aircraft, per year.

Honeywell and Safran estimate that total savings for airlines using EGTS could range from $200,000 to $450,000 per aircraft, per year. Graphic shows location of the pilot interface unit, the controller, the (left) wheel actuator, wheel actuator controller unit (WACU) and the aircraft APU, modified with generator to produce additional electrical power.

Honeywell is a major supplier of electricity-generating auxiliary power units for airliners, while Safran, of France, manufactures landing gear and wheels. Their EGTS International joint venture is commercializing in-wheel motors to allow jets to taxi without their main engines, saving fuel and providing a host of operational advantages to airline operators.

Unlike the WheelTug nose-wheel motors promoted by a far smaller developer, the EGTS motors are designed for the main landing gear.

EGTS 'pilot interface unit'

EGTS ‘pilot interface unit’

Fuel Savings Up to 4%

“Consequently, EGTS is the only onboard system currently in development that can generate enough traction to mitigate the use of engines during taxiing in all weather conditions and at all airports,” Safran EGTS program VP Olivier Savin said in a release.

The technology “can save airlines up to 4% block fuel consumption per flight,” states the announcement.

The GoAir agreement “allows us to actively participate in the system’s development – a technology that we believe has the potential to not only save fuel and reduce costs, but also improve aircraft turnaround times and lower noise and emissions in the airport environment,” said GoAir CEO Giorgio De Roni.

Airbus Is the OEM Partner

The GoAir news follows a December agreement with Airbus to evaluate EGTS as an option for A320 jets.

Honeywell and Safran say that their main-gear-based EGTS ‘is the only onboard system currently in development that can generate enough traction to mitigate the use of engines during taxiing in all weather conditions and at all airports.’

Honeywell and Safran say that their main-gear-based EGTS ‘is the only onboard system currently in development that can generate enough traction to mitigate the use of engines during taxiing in all weather conditions and at all airports.’

“Where EGTS comes into its own is in supporting high-volume, fast-turnaround, short-haul movements, where aircraft spend a large proportion of the day on the tarmac taxiing,” said Honeywell EGTS program VP Brian Wenig.

“As the only electric taxiing system to receive support from a major OEM to date,” he said, “EGTS represents an exciting, cost-effective technology for airlines to lower their fuel burn and save money.”

Airbus calls the concept “eTaxi.”

Honeywell and Safran estimate that total savings for airlines using EGTS could range from $200,000 to $450,000 per aircraft, per year, depending on operations profile and EGTS utilization.

Airbus reported last year that its predecessor Aerospatiale began investigating wheel motors in 1977, before costly fuel and environmental pressures made for a business case. Today, in addition to eTaxi with Honeywell and Safran, which could be offered for both new aircraft and for retrofit, Airbus is investigating autonomous 'TaxiBot' tugs that would meet an aircraft shortly after landing and conduct it, sans engines, to the terminal.

Airbus reported last year that its predecessor Aerospatiale began investigating wheel motors in 1977, before costly fuel and environmental pressures made for a business case. Today, in addition to eTaxi with Honeywell and Safran, which could be offered for both new aircraft and for retrofit, Airbus is investigating autonomous ‘TaxiBot’ tugs that would meet an aircraft shortly after landing and conduct it, sans engines, to the terminal.

Benefits to Be Quantified

Since the technology’s “first move” last April on the joint venture’s A320 test aircraft, EGTS has logged more than 200 kilometers of rolling tests, according to the announcement, including various load configurations and runway conditions, complex maneuvers such as pushback, tight turns and U-turns, and varying specifications of acceleration and speed up to maximum takeoff weight.

GoAir is to “provide data to Honeywell and Safran to help mature the system and define fuel and other operational benefits it would see by using EGTS across its fleets.

“With this testing, the airline will also help establish standard operating procedures for airlines equipped with EGTS,” a spokeswoman says.

WheelTug, for its part, already claims nearly 800 orders for its nose-wheel system (F&F, February 23).


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Source: Honeywell Aerospace with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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