Safran and Honeywell Launch Electric Green Taxiing System Testing on a Boeing NextGen 737-800 in Partnership with TUIfly

Honeywell (NYSE:HON) and Safran (NYSE Euronext Paris: SAF) have completed a new test campaign for their electric green taxiing system on a TUIfly Boeing Next Generation 737-800 aircraft in Montpellier, France.

This test campaign marks another key milestone in the development of the electric green taxiing system. These tests evaluate runway conditions and calculate the necessary loads for moving a Next-Generation 737 aircraft on ground. For airlines such as TUIfly that operate high cycle, single aisle aircraft, the electric green taxiing system is expected to generate a projected savings of approximately USD $200,000 per aircraft per year.

“As an environmentally conscious airline, we are keenly interested in the potential of the electric green taxiing system, and in particular evaluating its development for a Boeing short-haul fleet,” said Dr. Dieter Nirschl, CEO TUIfly GmbH.

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Currently under development, the electric green taxiing system will use Honeywell’s auxiliary power unit (APU) generator to power motors in the main wheels, allowing aircraft to taxi without using the aircraft’s engines. Each of the aircraft’s powered wheels will be equipped with an electromechanical actuator, while unique power electronics and system controllers will give pilots total control of the aircraft’s speed and direction during electric taxi operations.

Yves Leclère, Safran Executive Vice President, Transformation added, “TUIfly clearly embraces a green approach in managing its operations, and we are very pleased that they have chosen to partner with Safran and Honeywell in the electric green taxiing system development. As a leading Boeing short range operator, we highly value TUIfly’s expertise and input during this test campaign.”

“Honeywell and Safran’s technology leadership and focus on innovation solves operational cost challenges and drives efficiencies for our customers using the electric green taxiing system,” said John Bolton, global president of the Air Transport and Regional business for Honeywell Aerospace. “This second phase of the project will drive greater insight into how to make electric taxiing a more viable and efficient option for operators.”

In addition to the environmental benefits, other advantages of the electric green taxiing system include lower fuel burn, reduced noise and terminal congestion, improved on-time performance and more cost-efficient operations. Honeywell and Safran intend to offer the electric green taxiing system either on new aircraft or as a retrofit solution to in-service aircraft as early as 2016.

Source: Safran S.A. (Paris: SAF.PA)
Date: May 16, 2012