TK773 From Turkey, joined Apr 2013, 18 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4375 times:
I am a new member to Airliners.net, and this is my first post. I did a search on the past forums, with no avail on this topic. I thought it would be interesting to share.
Though the article is old (dated December, 2011) I was wondering if there are any updates on this project? With airlines squeezed by ever-rising fuel prices, could this soon be a possible solution to taxi to the runway in order to save on fuel? Can it justify the cost-beneficiaries of the added weight of electric motors? From the tests conducted, it seems as though the pilots were very happy with its responsiveness.
The biggest problem is economics. As you've noted, the weight and cost of fitting such a system is a pretty severe penalty. Engines require a minimum run time in the neighborhood of 3 minutes prior to takeoff which limits the situations where etaxi helps, plus the extra weight applies to all flight time, which means extra fuel burn.
From a purely economic perspective, it would seem that a battery powered tug, possibly remote controlled from the cockpit would make the most sense, but there are other factors that come into play.
IFixPlanes From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 239 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (7 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3243 times:
There is a difference between these 2 versions.
The system installed at the Germania A/C only replace the tug. No other function - so it is additional weight.
The system Lufthansa (together with L-3) is going to develop - 2 regular brakes are replaced by 2 electric motors which can be used to replace the tug during ground maneuvers AND they will be used as a brake during landing.
B6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2807 posts, RR: 7 Reply 6, posted (7 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3125 times:
Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 2): More than half of JetBlue flights would surely benefit from a no-engine taxi in the JFK conga line.
Not as much anymore. With the way things have changed at JFK, you don't even push back from the gate to get into the "conga line" that often anymore....even in IROPS. The last flight I had to take was during really nasty weather and departing during the morning rush at JFK, we were held at the gate for 20 minutes after boarding was completely done (no technical issue or anything, it was just a gate hold). When we pushed back and started up, I was surprised to hear both engines crank. It was a 3 minute taxi to 22R and we were off. A few years ago, it would have taken 20+ minutes in those conditions to taxi out. Now, they just hold you at the gate quite often. Last summer there were still some nasty "conga lines" when t-storms rolled through during the afternoon rush hours though...but not as bad as previous years.
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"