Hybrid Planes: The Power of Green Tarmac Taxiing

Honeywell and Safran are partnering for sustainable innovation

How green taxiing works 

These challenges open an excellent window of opportunity for innovative players in the aerospace industry. Companies can jointly or solely develop propositions that are not only good for the environment but that help reduce the bill of the passengers. A great example of such an innovation in the industry is the Electronic Green Taxiing System (EGTS) which was developed by Honeywell and Safran. Using the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) generator to power motors on the main wheels, the EGTS allows aircraft to push back without support from an external tug and then taxi without requiring the use of the main aircraft engines. One wheel on each main gear is equipped with an electric motor, reduction gearbox and clutch assembly to drive the aircraft, while power electronics and system controllers give pilots total control of the aircraft’s speed and direction during taxi operations.

As a result, EGTS improves an airline’s operational efficiency by reducing fuel and other taxi related costs and it provides environmental benefits by reducing the carbon, noise and other emissions created during taxi operations. On top the corporate reputation of the airlines involved will definitely benefit from EGTS as consumers love green – especially if it helps drive down cost. 

Airbus joins forces with EGTS 

Last January, Airbus has signed an MoU for the backing of the further development of EGTS as an option for the Airbus A320 Family. According to Brian Wenig, EGTS Program Vice President of Honeywell Aerospace,  “Airbus will provide extremely valuable insight to facilitate a seamless integration into the aircraft.” Airbus and EGTS International are reinforcing their existing teams to finalise validation studies, define specifications and agree market requirements for fitting new as well as existing aircraft with the system. Entry into service of new hybrid aircraft is being targeted as early as 2016.

Sustainable innovation at your company 

To ­find out more about EGTS visit their website: www.greentaxiing.com. If you are interested in exploring the opportunities for sustainable innovation at your company, please contact Jan van der Kaaij, Managing Partner, at jan@finchandbeak.com  

About Jan van der Kaaij

Sustainability expert in strategy development, DJSI and sustainable innovation, with a hands-on approach and always committed to go for the max. | jan@finchandbeak.com 

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