Safran explains the revolutionary EGTS system

EGTS is one of th emost innovating technologies in aviaiton market so we have decided to ask Safran about this new product.

1. How does EGTS work and what are its main components?
The electric green taxiing system uses power from the aircraft’s Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) generator to electrically power motors fitted to the main landing gear wheels. Two of the main wheels are equipped with an electric motor, reduction gearbox and clutch assembly to drive the aircraft. The main landing gear wheels were chosen for maximized performance, traction and agility. Each of the aircraft’s powered wheels is equipped with an electro-mechanical actuator, while power electronics and system controllers give pilots total control of the aircraft’s speed and direction during taxi operations. The system allows an aircraft to push back without tug assistance and then taxi towards the runway without the main engines running. Once near the runway the aircraft’s main engines can be started. On landing, the aircraft can taxi off the main runway and then stop its engines. Then, using the APU power, it can engage the EGTS and taxi to the terminal and park at the gate, all without using the main engines.

● Does it have a big impact on the aircraft’s weight?
It currently adds around 150kgs per gear, but the financial gains far outweigh the moderate weight increase.

● How reliable is this technology?
– EGTS can count on a first-class partnership with proven expertise
Established in 2011, EGTS International brings together two of the world’s most respected and innovative aerospace technology companies.
EGTS International capitalizes on the two companies’ complementary product strengths – Honeywell’s auxiliary power system experience and Safran’s world-class landing gear systems. Both companies will contribute their world class expertise in electric power systems, mechanical systems and systems integration.
Since the technology’s „first move” last April on board the joint venture’s A320 test aircraft, EGTS has logged more than 800 kilometers of rolling tests, including various load configurations and runway conditions, complex maneuvers such as pushback, tight turns and U-turns, and varying specifications of acceleration and speed up to maximum takeoff weight.
„EGTS has a significant benefit over other systems in that it has a main-gear-based electric taxiing design,” said Olivier Savin, vice president EGTS Program, Safran. „Consequently, EGTS is the only onboard system currently in development that can generate enough traction to mitigate the use of engines during taxiing in all weather conditions and at all airports”.

2. What are the main benefits of using EGTS?
The EGTS taxiing system:
– Lowers block fuel needs
– Slashes on-ground emissions by 50-75% (CO2, NOx)
– Eliminates the need for tractors/tugs for ground operations
– Improves On Time Performance with “pushback and go”, reducing pushback time by 60%
– Decreases engine maintenance by limiting Foreign Object Debris (FOD) damage
– Reduces noise at the gate area
– Increases safety for ground personnel

3. How big is the fuel reduction? Are there any estimates how much fuel could be saved for most popular aircraft used by main airlines?
Some estimates suggest that the global short haul fleet burns as much as five million tonnes of fuel per year during taxiing alone. With EGTS, airlines can realize savings of up to 4% of total block fuel consumption, or on average $200,000 savings per aircraft per year.

4. Do you have an estimated cost of the whole system for one aircraft?
As we are still in the testing and development phase, pricing is yet to be announced.

5. How big is the market for EGTS?
The EGTS targets Airbus’s (A320 family) and Boeing’s (737 family) short- and medium-haul aircraft which usually rotate more and have more needs for taxiing. This potential market would include more than 10,000 aircraft between 2016 and 2030, not counting the retrofit market (aircraft already in service which would be modernized with this system).

6. When do you expect it to be production ready?
As we are in a pre-development phase it is too early indicate entry into service timing.