IAI and Airbus fine tune Taxibot operation

Tel Aviv
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Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Airbus are fine tuning the operation of their jointly-developed Taxibot tow-tractor ahead of customer demonstrations next year.

Taxibot eliminates the need to operate the aircraft's engines after pushback, with the tow-tractor pulling the aircraft to the takeoff start point.

The pilot controls the Taxibot using the aircraft's regular control system as he would if its engines were running.

IAI said the use of the Taxibot requires no modification to the aircraft and minimal changes to airport infrastructure.

A programme source said its marketing efforts will initially focus on Europe and the USA.

Tests have shown the Taxibot reduces the use of fuel during taxiing, lowers air pollution levels in the terminal area and reduces the risk of foreign object damage to the aircraft's engines, he said.

A second phase of the programme will focus on centralising control of all Taxibots operating at an airport.