Examination of Aircraft Electric Wheel Drive Taxiing Concept 2008-01-2860
The potential benefits offered by alternative aircraft taxiing methods without the use of the aircraft's main engines have attracted substantial interest in recent years from the aviation industry as well as the general public. Amongst the proposed aircraft taxiing methods, the electric wheel-drive concept has received the most media attention. As part of ongoing research and development into the More Electric Aircraft (MEA), a study has been conducted to examine the technical feasibility of an electric wheel-drive taxiing system using publicly available aircraft and runway coefficient data. The study shows the potential for overall mission fuel burn reductions, particularly for short haul aircraft with a relatively long taxi time. The study also highlights that the wheel-drive system needs to be considered as an integral part of the design of the next generation of MEA as it has implications for other systems on board the aircraft, particularly the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) required to power the wheel-drive system.