What many of us may not know is that there is a lot of wasted fuel used by airplanes when they are taxing from gate to gate. On top of everything else that is bad with all of those added CO2 emissions, they are also incredibly noisy. The cost is astronomical and before now, there didn’t seem to be a way to avoid it. An Israeli company has come up with an incredible device called TaxiBot, which allows a small taxi-like vehicle to move airplanes in an ecologically and noise-free way.

The idea of TaxiBot is so simple that one wonders why it wasn’t thought of a long time ago. The TaxiBot is operated by a single driver and they ‘lift’ the nose wheels of the aircraft for pushback. This allows for taxiing pilots to control the actual ‘tug’ so that they can avoid the use of the engine. The pilot steers the tractor by using the nose-gear tiller they have in the cockpit and, with the airplane wheels resting on the rotation platform, they can translate nose-gear deflections and change them into directional alterations for the tug. The airplane wheel brakes are used to actually decelerate and forward speed is controlled by braking. Pretty smart, huh?

The original idea was to help save on CO2 emissions, smog forming emissions, noise pollution and on the incredibly high cost of fuel. Additional advantages are that the TaxiBot saves the life of the engine and reduces the risk of damage due to ‘foreign objects’. The cost of fuel for an airline in just the taxiing process using standard jet fuel is between $7-$8 billion per year. This is a distinct dollar savings and also contributes to their green footprint (if they have one).

Source: http://www.treehugger.com/aviation/taxibot-reduces-airplane-emissions-and-noise-pollution.html

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3 Responses to “TaxiBot Robotic Tug for Airplanes Brings Reduction in Emissions and Noise”

  1. 1
    CompletelyClueless Says:

    It’s a shame they don’t have an electric car version of this. It might be a real problem charging batteries, but at least an EV would save them a lot more money in fueling the little taxis. It won’t be long before most of us are comfortable with electric cars, so there’s got to be some company out there putting together an electric version.

  2. 2
    AbsolutelyMaybe Says:

    Wouldn’t it be great to land and then not have to sit over the intense and continuous loud noise of the airplane engine revving up and slowing down as you glide to the gate? I really hate the smell too. It has made more than one passenger nauseated and it’s the worst when you are sitting too close to the engines. This is a great idea and really sounds like it benefits everyone.

  3. 3
    BrendaStarr Says:

    I have landed in some of the airports where the tires touched down, but we just kept going and going and going and it seemed to take forever before we were even close to the gate. As long as it doesn’t slow down the time getting to the gate (people are so impatient), then this is a positive move in the right direction.

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