Aerospace suppliers Honeywell and Safran have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a joint venture company charged with delivering an electric, environmentally friendly taxiing system for use on new and existing aircraft.
The taxiing system will significantly improve airline operational efficiency and provide environmental benefits by slashing the carbon and other emissions created during runway taxi operations, the companies said.
Taxiing burns a significant amount of fuel – current industry analysis indicates that the world’s short-haul aircraft consume 5 million tons of fuel per year during taxi operations, according to the companies.
Honeywell and Safran have said that the new electric taxiing system offered by the joint venture company will save airlines up to 4 percent of their total fuel consumption.
To power the electrical motors in a plane’s wheels during aircraft ground operations, Honeywell and Safran will leverage the plane’s auxiliary power unit generator without using main engines, thereby cutting costs, emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.
Aircraft equipped with this new green taxiing system will be able to “pushback and go” more quickly, thus reducing gate and tarmac congestion, improving on-time departure performance and saving valuable time on the ground, the companies say.
“The cost of fuel and the related cost of carbon emissions are right at the top of the list of the biggest concerns for any airline,” said Tim Mahoney, president and chief executive officer of Honeywell Aerospace. “By using the new electric green taxiing system to provide the power needed for ground-level maneuvering, Honeywell and Safran can save our airline customers several hundred thousand dollars per aircraft per year.”
Honeywell has also recently announced that its “Green Jet Fuel” product has successfully powered the world’s first transatlantic biofuel flight.
After closely following the route taken by Charles Lindbergh’s famous first flight across the Atlantic, the plane landed Jun 18, 2011 at Paris-Le Bourget Airport seven hours after take off from Morristown, N.J.
The Honeywell-operated Gulfstream G450 became the first aircraft to fly from North America to Europe with a 50/50 blend of Honeywell Green Jet Fuel and petroleum-based jet fuel, powering one of the aircraft’s Rolls-Royce engines. It was also the first business jet to be powered by a biofuel, Honeywell said.
The biofuel was derived from camelina, a dedicated energy crop that does not compete in the food chain as it grows in rotation with wheat acreage, according to Honeywell.
The event was timed to coincide with the Paris Air Show.