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Civil Aviation
Safran, Thales team up on electric taxiing
Safran, Thales team up on electric taxiing
© Safran Landing Systems / Fotolia

| Staff writer

Safran, Thales team up on electric taxiing

Safran Landing Systems and Thales have signed an MoU for the development of a power supply unit for Safran's electric taxiing system.

Safran Landing Systems and Thales have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of a power supply unit for the electric taxiing system being developed by Safran Landing Systems.

Safran's Electric-Taxiing system enables the aircraft to taxi independently, without starting up the main engines or using an airport tractor, thanks to electrical motors installed in the wheels of the main landing gear. This system offers a significant reduction in fuel consumption and engine emissions.

In order to reduce aircraft weight, Safran Landing Systems has chosen an auto transformer rectifier unit (ATRU), designed and developed by Thales, which is capable of providing very high power.

As part of their agreement, the two partners will work together on the integration of this ATRU, to optimize both the design and the interfaces with the electric taxiing system.

Safran has been working on a “green taxiing” concept for several years, initially in partnership with Honeywell. A system was demonstrated at the 2013 Paris Air Show.

At this year's Paris Air Show, Safran and Airbus announced that they had received “Authorisation to Market” approval for an electric-taxiing (eTaxi) system for the A320 family. The system is based on electric motors in the main landing gear, powered by electricity from the auxiliary power unit (APU).

Airbus has also been supporting development of an alternative system, IAI's TaxiBot, a hybrid electric vehicle designed to transport commercial airline aircraft from terminal gates to the runway and back, without using the aircraft engines.

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