Posted by Courtney E. Howard
PARIS, 20 June 2011. Honeywell (NYSE:HON) and French aerospace company Safran (NYSE Euronext Paris:SAF) are forming a joint venture company to deliver a new electric green taxiing system for new and existing aircraft. Honeywell and Safran expect the new taxiing system to be installed on new aircraft, as well as retrofitted onto existing planes, beginning in 2016. It is designed to deliver airline operational efficiency to reduce carbon and other emissions during runway taxi operations.
Taxiing burns considerable fuel: Current industry analysis indicates the world's short-haul aircraft consume 5 million tons of fuel per year during taxi operations. The new electric green taxiing system will save up to 4% of the total fuel consumption, while providing green benefits that reduce emissions produced by taxiing at ground level.
The new offering will leverage the plane's Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) generator to power electrical motors in the aircraft's main wheels without using main engines during aircraft ground operations--cutting costs, emissions, and reliance on fossil fuels. Unique power electronics and system controllers enable the pilot to control the speed, brakes, and direction of the aircraft throughout ground transportation, says a representative.
The new partnership capitalizes on the companies' product strengths: Honeywell's auxiliary power systems and Safran's landing gear systems.