From: Paul Schaefer, ENN
Published September 1, 2007 06:08 PM

New Technology: Aircraft In-Wheel Motors Save Fuel, Reduce CO2

ASHBURN, Va. - An aerospace company has engineered an electric motor and generator system that eliminate the use of jet engines for taxiing and other ground maneuvers. The technology will potentially save millions in fuel costs and reduce CO2.


Much like hybrid vehicle systems that capture energy during braking and store it in batteries, this technology will capture the kinetic energy of the aircraft during a landing event converting the kinetic energy into electrical power which may be stored and then used later to power the wheel hub motor/generators within the aircraft wheels for taxiing and ground maneuvers which can save millions of dollars per year per an aircraft in reduced fuel burn.


The technology uses in-wheel electric motor/generators that are capable of producing sufficient power to effectively maneuver an aircraft of any weight on the ground, and provide for safer and more effective braking of the landing gear wheels replacing the old friction disk technology.


Currently jet and turbofan aircraft require tow motors or tugs to push the aircraft backward into the designated taxiway. By eliminating the need to wait for, attach, and detach tow motors or tugs aircraft can enter and exit gates faster thus reducing between-flight turnaround times, which directly impacts Airline and Airport capacity utilization rate.


The technology was developed by Delos Aerospace. It's projected to provide fuel savings of 2.4 to 3.4 million dollars a year per aircraft. Long term the savings are projected to be 3 to 4 times that. The environmental benefits of the technology for airport neighborhoods will be substantial due to the significant reduction in greenhouse gases.


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