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Safran And Honeywell To Develop An Electric Green Taxiing System (EGTS)
By Jim Douglas

June 19, 2013 - Honeywell and Safran announced that they are extending their collaboration on the development of the new electric green taxiing system (EGTS) to include Air France. 

The electric taxi (etaxi) system which utilizes APU-powered electric motors attached to the aircrafts wheels to allow the moving of an aircraft on the ground without the aircraft engines running allowing the aircraft to move backwards without the use of pushback tugs and to allow for forward movement without using the aircraft's engines (see Wheeltug To Introduce Aircraft Nose Wheel Taxi On The Airbus A320).

The MOU signed will enable Air France to analyze the potential technical, operational and financial benefits of the EGTS. In turn, Air France will provide valuable assistance to Safran and Honeywell in refining estimated savings of the system and quantifying other operational benefits.

Air France’s aircraft utilize a number of heavily used airports, and the EGTS can provide a decisive economic advantage at these airports, while also reducing emissions and noise in the terminal environment. From early analysis Air France expects to save the equivalent of several per cent fuel burn per cycle based on its current operations, for its fleet of 120 plus short and medium range aircraft. 

Thanks to these substantial fuel savings, a single aisle aircraft equipped with the EGTS system also reduces NOx emissions by approximately 50 per cent and carbon emissions by approximately 75 per cent during taxiing maneuvers. Honeywell and Safran are targeting EGTS entry into service on new aircraft in 2016, shortly followed by a retrofit option on existing aircraft. 

The EGTS allows aircraft to taxi without requiring the use of aircraft engines by using the Auxiliary Power Unit (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. The system would therefore reduce, if not remove altogether, the need for aircraft ground equipment to manoeuvre aircraft in and out of stands.



Bruno Delile, Senior Vice President, New Aircraft & Corporate Fleet Planning "At Air France we are particularly conscious about energy efficiency. With the electric green taxiing system, we aim to reduce our fleet’s carbon footprint at airports, while also decreasing noise and useless fuel consumption."
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