Posted on: 18 December 2013 by Mark Howells
Airbus has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with EGTS International, a joint venture company between Safran and Honeywell Aerospace, to further develop and evaluate an autonomous electric pushback and taxiing solution for the A320 family.
The agreement marks the selection of EGTS International’s Electric Green Taxiing System to be evaluated as a new option on the A320 family – referred to by Airbus as eTaxi. The option will enable aircraft push-back from the gate without a tug plus taxi-out to the runway, and return to the gate after landing without operating the main engines.
eTaxi will use the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit (APU) to power electric motors fitted to the main landing gear wheels. The architecture will include the ability for pilots to keep full control from the cockpit over their aircraft’s speed and direction during taxi operations.
Daniel Baubil, Airbus EVP, head of A320 family programme, commented, “We look forward to working with our EGTS International expert partners – Honeywell and Safran – with whom we share the common view that the A320 family is a natural fit for an electric taxiing capability.”