The Green Taxi System (GTS) is a concept that was developed by L3 Technologies and Honeywell together with Safran, in the latter part of the last decade. The design involved installing electric motors in the aircraft’s landing gear wheels. A new endeavor, Dallas TX-based Green Taxi Inc. was able to acquire the IP from L3 and Honeywell, along with an OEM patent for the technology and hired key team members who had been involved in the project. Green Taxi, Inc. (GTI) announced today that it is continuing the original development which uses the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) generator to power motor(s) on the landing gear driving the wheels and enabling the aircraft to taxi without starting its main engines. The power electronics and system controller provide precise control to the pilots over speed and braking during taxi operations. Aircraft equipped with the GTI system will eliminate the need for pushback tractors or tugs, reducing gate and tarmac congestion and improving airline on-time performance.
“Green Taxi-equipped jetliners will save significant costs on reduced ground time apart from the fuel savings” says Green Taxi President and Founder David Valaer “and other benefits include extended engine life, enhanced ground crew safety, and reduced noise at the airport” he said.
The aviation industry has shown significant interest in Electric Taxiing Systems (ETS) in recent years. Big influences include the current rapidly rising cost of jet fuel, the Clean Aviation movement and substantial carbon brake savings offered by these systems. In the US, taxi time ranges from 15 to 30 minutes, accounting for a significant 5-12% of the plane’s fuel consumption, depending on aircraft type and flight duration. GTI (https://greentaxi.solutions) is working on this ETS directed towards newer short and medium haul aircraft models, that will eliminate the use of the aircraft’s jet engines or towing tractors. The system is retrofittable to legacy aircraft as well as newer aircraft.
“Jet engines have 16-38 times the CO output at idle than at take-off thrust and the GTI system reduces these taxi emissions by 85%” continued David Valaer. “The GTI system will be well received by airlines and passengers in these CO sensitive times. The GTI system provides at least a 70% return on investment in total operator savings. The ETS is a great incremental approach and can be deployed much more quickly than an all-electric aircraft but with many of the same environmental benefits”.
Several major airlines are pursing in depth discussions with GTI to bring this technology to their fleets to benefit from the economic, operational and environmental viability of the system.