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Airbus could run electric taxi demonstration on A320 this year

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posted on May, 19 2008 @ 07:44 AM

Airbus could undertake a demonstration of an electric taxi system on an A320 this year as part of studies to reduce fuel burn and emissions.

"We are looking at installing electric motors in the wheels," says A320 family programme executive vice-president Alain Flourens.

this is innovation - save fuel and in some way help the environment , why don`t all airline companies use these initiatives?

posted on May, 19 2008 @ 08:49 AM
Actually I think it's a really stupid idea.

There are far easier ways of achieving greenhouse gas emission reductions, and much simpler ideas that would achieve the same end goal. Trying to integrate a lightweight very powerful electric motor able to stand up to the extremes of operational stresses it will be exposed to such as extremly high temperatures from heavy braking, is a recipe for maintenance problems. A far smarter way would be to use electric tugs that tow an aircraft to the runway threshold and then start engines. And exactly how will the stored electrical energy used to drive these in hub motors be generated anyway? With heavy onboard batteries no doubt, which you guessed it, will increase the weight and therefore the fuel burn of the aircraft. Not to mention the increased weight of the electric motors. And I doubt that operators will reduce the amount of onboard fuel by a comensurate amount as they cant be sure that the system wont crap itself and leave an airliner stuck embarrasingly at the end of the piano keys.

I do have to wonder though exactly what solution Airbus (or Boeing for that matter) have for reducing C02 emissions regarding APU use. More often than not the APU's end up burning as much if not more fuel than the main engines (in supplying the equivalent electrical generation capacity that is) whilst waiting around idly for departure or post flight just to supply onboard power to the main busses. I myself burnt 800+ KG's of fuel last week in one 747 because ground power was down and there were not enough power carts to go around. And that was without even running the aircon packs.

Call me a cynic but this idea seems more gimmick than solution.


[edit on 19-5-2008 by thebozeian]

posted on May, 19 2008 @ 09:48 AM
virgin tried the tow to start pan idea , it didn`t actually work that well

But Virgin Atlantic has quietly abandoned a plan to tow Boeing 747 jumbo jets to special “starting grids” at the end of runways after the aircraft manufacturer found that pulling the landing gear would seriously weaken it.

you might well be very right about it being a gimmick - but , at least they are wanting to try things in the right direction , as for apu use , well maybe airports should have power hook ups then for aircraft so they don`t have to use onboaard power?

posted on May, 19 2008 @ 11:19 AM
Guys, I flew with a pilot in the USAF and he did a study and proposed the idea to the USAF about changing ground power for the KC-10. His idea was to install ground power units onboard the KC-10. We used these on the ground to save fuel so he wanted to load them and use them all the time vs. the APU. The idea was shot down but it had merit as the dash-60 used diesel and the fuel savings was huge vs. the APU. We all laughed at this guy but now his ideas and by no means was this his only one were ahead of there time. This pilot was known through out the KC-10 community for being green. He was also one of the absolute best pilots I flew with. He never got any credit for his skills because he so concerned with being green. Imagine night time AR triple limits and asking for the PDI light to be turned off. He did it and was the only pilot I ever saw do this. I saw plenty of pilots do triple limits but not at night with the lights off. Actually I wouldn't be surprised if he reads these boards, Mark P if your reading this my hats off to you for being concerned way ahead of the rest.

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