Honeywell and Safran test their electric green taxiing system
26 June 2013
Honeywell and Safran have completed the first major phase of testing of their electric green taxiing system (EGTS), and made the first public demonstration of the technology, installed on an Airbus A320 aircraft, during the recent 50th International Paris Air Show. Developed by EGTS International, a joint venture between Honeywell and Safran, the EGTS technology enables aircraft to avoid using their main engines during taxiing and instead taxi autonomously under their own electrical power. Similar to a hybrid car using electrical power at slow speeds, EGTS will improve airline operating efficiency during taxi operations and cut fuel consumption by up to 4% per flight cycle. EGTS will also provide environmental benefits by reducing noise and carbon and nitrogen oxide emissions during taxi operations, and will reduce gate and tarmac congestion, improve on-time departure, and allow passengers to deplane faster as a result of smoother ground handling operations. EGTS allows aircraft to push back autonomously and then taxi between gate and runway without engaging the main engines by using the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) generator to power electric motors in the main landing gear. Each of an EGTS-equipped aircraft’s powered wheels is fitted with a control system, giving pilots total control of the aircraft’s speed and direction during taxi operations. The initial development of EGTS to date has mobilized more than 200 engineers working in 13 Safran and Honeywell facilities around the world. The component system and aircraft testing programme has accumulated more than 3000 hr of testing on seven bespoke testing benches and rigs, including on-ground manoeuvres in Toulouse, France, on an Airbus A320 modified by the joint venture for the EGTS development programme.