Hitching a ride: TaxiBots to take aircrafts to runway with engine off
- A TaxiBot is a semi-robotic machine controlled by a pilot which will be used at the
Delhi airportto lift the planes slightly and carry them to the runway, with the engine off. DIALofficials note that during the trial runs, the cost of fuel used during the taxiing was reduced by 85%. It is also expected to decrease the noise pollution, emission of carbon dioxide, risks of jet blasts and the congestion at boarding gates.
- In September, another three-month-long trial of the
A TaxiBot is a semi-robotic machine controlled by a pilot that will hold the planes, stationed at the apron area, by their nose wheel and lift them slightly. The plane’s pilot will then, transport the plane from the terminal gate to the runway without switching on the aircraft’s engine before take-off to enable warm-ups and technical checks. The TaxiBot can attain a maximum speed of 23 knots.
IIT Kanpur has reported that aircrafts contribute to the air pollution and the institution’s 2016 study of Delhi’s air pollution stated that at least 2% of the city’s pollution comes from aircrafts and that most of the emission from aircraft is during the LTO (landing and take-off) cycle. The electric wheels of TaxiBot are expected to decrease this pollution.
Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) officials note that during the certificate trials, the cost of fuel used during the taxiing was reduced by 85%.
The bot will also reduce damage to the plane’s brakes. Whenever a plane applies its brakes, the nose wheel receives the entire pressure of all its weight. However, now the pressure will be on the TaxiBots, leading to lesser damage.
At present, the plane engines get switched on after passengers board and fuel is wasted by keeping engines on as the plane taxis to the runway.
A trial of the TaxiBots will begin in September, which will last for three months ans is in association with KSU Aviation Pvt Ltd. This company will provide DIAL with the TaxiBots that have already been developed by