Honeywell, Safran Create Joint Venture Targeting Fuel
Consumption And Emissions During Ground Ops
A U.S. and a French company have signed a memorandum of
understanding (MoU) to create a joint venture company to deliver an
innovative new electric green taxiing system for new and existing
Honeywell and French aerospace company Safran say the new
taxiing system will significantly improve airline operational
efficiency and provide environmental benefits by slashing the
carbon and other emissions created during runway taxi operations.
They expect it to be installed on new aircraft and retrofitted on
to existing planes, beginning in 2016.
Taxiing burns a significant amount of fuel. Current industry
analysis indicates that the world's short-haul aircraft consume 5
million tons of fuel per year during taxi operations. The new
electric green taxiing system offered by the Honeywell-Safran joint
venture company is expected to save up to 4% of the total fuel
consumption while providing green benefits that significantly
reduce the carbon and other emissions produced by taxiing at ground
Honeywell and Safran plan to 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, thereby cutting costs, emissions and reliance on
"When it comes to solving big, weighty challenges for our
customers, Honeywell and Safran have unmatched track records for
innovation and execution. Today, the cost of fuel -- and the
related cost of carbon emissions -- are right at the top of the
list of the biggest concerns for any airline," said Tim Mahoney,
president and chief executive officer of Honeywell Aerospace.
"By using the new electric green taxiing system to provide the
power needed for ground-level maneuvering, Honeywell and Safran can
save our airline customers several hundred thousand dollars per
aircraft per year."
The companies say the new partnership capitalizes on their
complementary product strengths – Honeywell's auxiliary power
experience and Safran's landing gear systems. Both companies
will contribute expertise in electric power, mechanical systems and
systems integration. "This partnership provides Safran and
Honeywell a unique opportunity to combine our individual experience
and expertise for the greater benefit of the airlines and the
passengers they serve," said Jean Paul Herteman, Safran's chairman
and chief executive officer. "We're excited to be working on this
innovative partnership that capitalizes on our companies'
individual strengths to drive performance for the airlines."
Aircraft equipped with this new electric green taxiing system
should be able to "pushback and go" more quickly as well thus
reducing gate and tarmac congestion, improving on time departure
performance and saving valuable time on the ground. Fuel savings
are not the only operational cost this aircraft electric green
taxiing system will address. The system will eliminate the need for
tugging and associated equipment costs, and it reduces both brake
wear and taxes based on carbon emissions.
These costs are especially problematic for airlines with high
percentages of short-haul operations because ground taxiing is a
greater percentage of total aircraft use. That makes airline profit
margins for short-haul aircraft more sensitive to these expenses.
Fuel-saving technology such as this electric green taxiing system
can significantly improve the airline operator's bottom line.
Honeywell and Safran intend to focus their joint venture on
narrow-body-sized aircraft, which are more likely to be used for
The aircraft electric green taxiing system works by using the
aircraft's APU to provide power to specialized motors near the main
landing gear wheels. Unique power electronics and system
controllers allow the pilot to control the speed, brakes and
direction of the aircraft throughout ground transportation.