To save fuel, aircraft will roll into the future with the thrust of electric motors to start. Initial tests are promising. The test was almost silent: gently rolled the modified A320 on the tarmac of the airport. But not the thrust of the engines supplied for the maneuver. Nearly invisible electric motors at the wheels made sure that the good 50-ton Airbus glided over the airfield. “It was as if the plane would have danced ballet,” says one operator.
Lufthansa, the L3-American Group and Airbus have entered uncharted territory just before Christmas in the aerospace industry. Because since the beginning of the jet age aircraft on the ground exclusively use its thrusters to maneuver in the airport. This should in future be different: If electric motors, the machine will gently push the start, the loud and expensive jet propulsion only started when the airplane is actually going into the air.
“We are convinced that making the system both to aircraft operators and service providers at airports considerable economic and environmental benefits,” says L-3 Manager Joe Hoffman. Lufthansa wants something to “evaluate the large amount of data” and decide the course of the year on the construction of a prototype. Airbus, too, speaks of an “early stage of development”.
The plane to Frankfurt Ballet shows once again how strong the industry is under pressure. The rising oil price and the emissions trading take the airlines in the pliers. Airbus and Boeing are equipping their bestseller A320 and B737 with new engines, thus saving the airlines between ten and 15 percent gasoline. In addition, attempts to come up with biofuel, which will improve the long-term environmental performance of airlines.
But all is not enough. In the EU needs by 2050, emissions of carbon dioxide per passenger decreased by 75 percent. Since one liter each. Experts estimate that for each flight on the ground about three percent of the total jet fuel consumed are burned.