Fuel Cells for Taxiing

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Hydrogen Fuel Leave a Comment

What seemed like an easy transition a few years ago has been delayed by one developer.  “Safran and Honeywell have delayed by two years the planned entry into service of their electric green taxiing system (EGTS), a device designed to enable an airplane to taxi with its engines shut down. Aviation International News (AIN) quoted a spokesperson as saying, “The team is still working on the program with a goal of certification in 2018 and entry into service shortly after.”  The system uses motors on the main gear to enable taxiing under power.  One of several competing systems, WheelTug, has motors on the nose gear only. Wheeltug uses a Boeing 737-800 as a testbed for the certification program. A  United States company with manufacturing apparently based in Gibraltar, WheelTug claims orders for 985 systems by 22 airlines. Another system, TaxiBot, was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries in cooperation with France’s TLD, Germany’s LufthansaLEOS, the ground-handling component of the airline.  The …

SeaTac, Boeing, Alaska Airlines Partner on Biofuel

Dean Sigler Biofuels, Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Aviation accounts for about two-to-three percent of the total CO2 emitted through burning fossil fuels, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). That’s even with military jets flashing their afterburners and trailing un-enhanced high-altitude contrails. Whether these emissions add to global warming or global cooling seems to be still open to debate. Regardless, almost everyone in the industry feels it is worth eliminating the negative aspects of aircraft emissions. Sea-Tac’s Big Plan Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Alaska Airlines and Boeing are partnering to power all flights from Sea-Tac with “sustainable aviation biofuel.” The trio has crafted a long-term roadmap to devise an infrastructure “in a cost-effective, efficient manner.” There may be benefits to the local economy, as well as to operational costs for airlines. According to Biomass Magazine, “At the Sea-Tac fuel farm Dec. 16, executives for the port, Alaska Airlines, and Boeing signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to launch a $250,000 Biofuel Infrastructure Feasibility Study that will assess …

Electric Green Taxiing System Quietly Enters Paris Air Show

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Honeywell and Safran have teamed up to create EGTS International, a company that makes Electric Green Taxiing Systems for airliners.  Honeywell has extensive experience with auxiliary power systems and Safran makes “world-class landing gear systems.”  Put them together and you have the self-powered landing gear which made its public debut at the Paris Air Show this week.   Others have been working on the same type of system, but  EGTS is the first to show the technology off at an air show. Besides making the display Airbus A320 one of the quietest airplanes moving across the tarmac at the show, the system could save airlines up to four percent per flight on fuel burn.  As the EGTS web site explains, “Because an aircraft’s main engines are optimized for flying rather than taxiing, they burn a disproportionate amount of fuel during ground operations. With a short- or medium-range aircraft spending up to 2.5 hours of its time on taxiways every day, …

Michelin Promotes Green Driving

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Michelin, the French tire people, have made available an informative series of booklets involving green transportation. Let’s drive electric! Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Let’s drive bio! What biofuels for what uses tomorrow? More air! Reduce CO2 emissions in road transport Let’s drive smartly! Connected vehicles and Intelligent transport systems Let’s drive safely! The new stakes for road safety Despite the exclamation point-laden titles and a general predilection toward electric or biofuel technology, the books tend to be even-handed examinations of real world costs and limitations of all types of “green” vehicles.   This editor recommends them for at least confronting issues that will be a continuing source of interest and concern for all of us.

Big Birds Flying Green Economy Class (Part One)

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

While the world waits for the 10X battery, a safe, long-range source of flight for our post-Green Flight Challenge fliers, we will probably have to go aloft powered by some bio-fuel derivative or combination of  “traditional” fossil fuels and biofuel. Major players in the airline industry are responding to the probability that things will get a bit thin in finding ready, cheap sources of sweet crude, and are taking on not only the issue of using green energy, but of flying more efficiently – ala Green Flight Challenge practices and Voyager-type voyages.  This interest by the big players in the industry will probably be good for continuing fuel sources for general aviation, too. With more activity than can be imagined in this arena, your editor turns to two excellent sources for background: Flightglobal.com and Greenair Online.com.  Recent reports from both show several major  successes, but also much political discord between national interest groups that slow progress. We’ll look at a …