Safran, in partnership with Honeywell, introduced an electronic green taxi system (EGTS) for commercial aircraft at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday. The system is designed to improve operational efficiency, save fuel and reduce delays. Air France signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to study the technology.
Carl Esposito, vice president of sales and marketing at Honeywell, told Avionics Magazine the technology, which utilizes Honeywell's auxiliary power units (APU) and onboard avionics systems, has the potential to save airlines $200,000 per aircraft per year in fuel costs. Additionally, the company said the potential market for this technology is about 80 percent of the world's 10,000 single-aisle aircraft.
"We're trying to make operations greener in the air and on the ground," Esposito said. The EGTS allows aircraft to taxi without requiring the use of aircraft engines by using the APU generator to power motors in the main wheels. Each of the aircraft’s powered wheels is equipped with an electromechanical actuator, while unique power electronics and system controllers give pilots total control of the aircraft’s speed, direction and braking during taxi operations.
Honeywell and Safran are targeting EGTS entry into service on new aircraft in 2016, shortly followed by a retrofit option on existing aircraft. The MOU with Air France will analyze the potential technical, operational and financial benefits of the EGTS.
In turn, Air France will provide assistance to Safran and Honeywell in refining estimated savings of the system and quantifying other operational benefits, the companies said.
Related: Commercial Avionics News