EasyJet First Airline to Trial Electric Green Taxiing System
Due to the high frequency and short sector lengths of easyJet’s operations, around 4% of total fuel consumed annually is used when the airline’s aircraft are taxiing. easyJet’s aircraft average 20 minutes of taxi time per flight – the equivalent of 3.5 million miles a year.
The first operational trials are expected to start in 2013, said easyJet in a statement. Honeywell and Safran are targeting to offer the electric green taxiing system either on new aircraft or as a retrofit solution to in-service aircraft as early as 2016. The development and trial will help establish whether the estimated savings can be realised and also quantify other benefits. easyJet will also assist in establishing the airline standard operational procedures for aircraft equipped with the system.
The EGTS allows aircraft to taxi without requiring the use of aircraft engines by using an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) generator to power motors in the main wheels. This gives pilots total control of the aircraft’s speed, direction and braking during taxi operations. The system would therefore reduce, if not remove altogether, the need for tugs to manoeuvre aircraft in and out of stands.
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