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Russian firms developing Superjet electric-taxi drive

Russian aerospace firms United Aircraft and Aviation Equipment are jointly developing an electric-drive system for the Sukhoi Superjet 100, designed to reduce fuel-burn while taxiing.

Aviation Equipment, which is linked to state technology company Rostec, says it intends to produce a prototype of the drive in 2015.

It is working on the system through a contract with its Samara-based affiliate company Aviaagregat, which last year drew up preliminary designs for a demonstrator.

Using an electric drive will cut fuel consumption and noise during airport manoeuvring, says Aviation Equipment, while also allowing the Superjet to reverse on the ground without the need for a tractor.

It would reduce the need to use the aircraft’s engines for periods of 30-40min, the company adds.

Aviation Equipment chief Maxim Kuzyuk says the system is an “innovative” concept. He suggests that noise and emissions regulations might eventually prohibit airport operations by aircraft which do not have electric-drive capability.

United Aircraft says the project is in line with its objectives of improving the competitiveness of its civil aircraft in international markets.

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