Jump to content


Icon Important Announcement!

New registrations require administration validation. This may delay registration approvals.


Photo

Driving to the runway: a new way for airliners to taxi


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 flee

flee
  • Platinum Member
  • 10,053 posts

Posted 15 May 2017 - 11:11 PM

15 MAY 2017 FEATURE STORY
As jet fuel is among an airline’s largest operating expense, anything that reduces its consumption is a welcome contribution to the bottom line. This is the promise of TaxiBot, a pilot-controlled dispatch-towing tractor. 
 
Rather than using jet engines to propel an aircraft during taxi from the boarding gate to runway, TaxiBot’s utilization offers a dramatic reduction in fuel burned, along with an accompanying reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a lessened chance of debris ingestion by the jet engines. 
 
Following extensive testing at Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse, France, TaxiBot was certified this month by Europe’s EASA airworthiness authorities for dispatch towing operations with the A320 Family of aircraft. TaxiBot is the brainchild of Israel Aerospace Industries and is manufactured by ground support equipment company TLD. 
 
While TaxiBot can be used in both arrivals and departures, it is intended primarily for aircraft taxiing to a runway take-off – where the tractor offers greater benefits. “Generally, taxi-in is shorter and the aircraft is lighter because it has burned its fuel, so the benefits are reduced,” said Guy Defresne, the TaxiBot Technical Project Leader at Airbus. “However, it could be worthwhile at certain major facilities such as Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – where there is a very long distance from runway to terminal building, and at U.S. airports where ground traffic is heavily congested.” 
 
During TaxiBot certification tests, the tractor’s handling was tuned to replicate what pilots are accustomed to when taxiing aircraft on the power of the aircraft’s engines. “We tested manoeuvres that don’t usually happen, including U-turns, to ensure that passenger comfort wasn’t compromised,” explained Defresne. “Our tests confirmed that controllability is good and loads on the nose landing gear are kept well within aircraft specification.”
 
Source:


#2 BC Tam

BC Tam
  • Platinum Member
  • 6,942 posts

Posted 16 May 2017 - 02:12 PM

Any idea where will they start to fire up the engines ?
At gate, while taxiing or at runway's edge ?

#3 Radzi

Radzi
  • Platinum Member
  • 4,469 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 02:52 AM

Any idea where will they start to fire up the engines ?
At gate, while taxiing or at runway's edge ?

 Just before takeoff, at the edge of the runway. That's the whole point of the TaxiBot.



#4 BC Tam

BC Tam
  • Platinum Member
  • 6,942 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:23 AM

Just before takeoff, at the edge of the runway

That being so, there will need to be a whole new protocol for engine start up ?
I reckon also a new potential there for delays and hold ups at busy runways
Would be interesting to see how they intend to bring those TaxiBots back to the gates from the runway :)

#5 flee

flee
  • Platinum Member
  • 10,053 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:27 AM

That being so, there will need to be a whole new protocol for engine start up ?
I reckon also a new potential there for delays and hold ups at busy runways
Would be interesting to see how they intend to bring those TaxiBots back to the gates from the runway :)

I believe these will need to be certified by the respective civil aviation authorities.

 

I believe the taxibots will have operators, like those used for pushback. It is just that when it is towing the aircraft, there is additional connection to the cockpit to enable pilots to control them.



#6 BC Tam

BC Tam
  • Platinum Member
  • 6,942 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:55 AM

I believe the taxibots will have operators, like those used for pushback. It is just that when it is towing the aircraft, there is additional connection to the cockpit to enable pilots to control them.

Yes, that is what I had in mind too. It's after disengaging from the towed aircraft, where do they drive the TaxiBot on to get back to the gates ?
Back track along the taxiway ? Would be tricky if there is a queue of aircraft
Certainly not along the runway I reckon, that will be fatal on its usability
So they may need to provide for separate access roads to these vehicles - cost/viability ? :)

#7 flee

flee
  • Platinum Member
  • 10,053 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 01:05 PM

I suppose they could use the service roads meant for vehicles like fire engines and grass cutting tractors....



#8 Radzi

Radzi
  • Platinum Member
  • 4,469 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 12:25 AM

Yes, that is what I had in mind too. It's after disengaging from the towed aircraft, where do they drive the TaxiBot on to get back to the gates ?
Back track along the taxiway ? Would be tricky if there is a queue of aircraft
Certainly not along the runway I reckon, that will be fatal on its usability
So they may need to provide for separate access roads to these vehicles - cost/viability ? :)

 

Being so excited that the product can tow the aircraft to the runway, probably they forgot the next unglamorous step of returning the bot to the ramp. Maybe it will work with some airports but not others.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users