Airbus Develops Autonomous Aircraft Taxiing

Currently Airbus is developing an alternative that, in near future, could replaces the use of jet engine thrust during ground taxiing with electrical power.

The solution is simple: an electric actuator, powered by the aircraft’s APU, drives the landing gear’s wheels. Fuel consumption is expected to be five times less than it would be with engine power – saving as much as 200 kilogrammes of fuel per flight. In addition, this alternative delivers a feature much requested by airlines, providing greater autonomy at push-back from the boarding gate as no tug is required.

Airbus Autonomous Aircraft Taxiing using Electrical Power of APU

Design and implementation for the project, a transversal process involving Airbus’ Engineering and Procurement department, is progressing in two concurrent stages. The demonstration phase is scheduled to close in 2012 with completion of the prototype electric wheel actuator. In parallel, the modified APU and power systems will be tested on the Airbus electrical test bench, with full-scale rolling tests to begin in 2013. If all goes as planned, initial flight tests will take place in 2014.

Source: Airbus
Image: Airbus

2 Responses to “Airbus Develops Autonomous Aircraft Taxiing”


  1. 1 Steve Jan 27th, 2011 at 3:46 am

    As far as I know the patents for using electric motor and/or generators are issued to Delos Aerospace www.Delos.Aero so I have to ask what patents are they talking about?

  2. 2 John B. Koch Mar 14th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    This a great inventions. Keep it up guys and looking forward for this. Thanks for sharing. More power!

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