Sunday, January 23, 2011

Airplane Push Tugs may soon be a thing of the past

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.

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

The AirplaneNut

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Virgin America will be the launch customer for the A320neo, included in their purchase of 60 new airplanes

Virgin America announced Monday that it is buying 60 Airbus A320 airplanes, including 30 fuel-efficient A320neo models that use Pratt & Whitney's PurePower geared turbofan as one of two engine options.Virgin America, which uses San Francisco International Airport as its hub, has just 34 planes in the air but is expanding rapidly.

Airbus estimates that the A320neo's fuel efficiency will yield an average annual savings of $1.1 million per aircraft and emit 3,600 fewer tons of carbon dioxide per aircraft on an annual basis.

The AirplaneNut

MCT, The Hartford Courant

Image© Airbus