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Lufthansa to demonstrate pilot-controlled taxiing system without engines running

TaxiBot, a semi-robotic pilot-controlled vehicle, transports airline aircraft from terminal gates to the runway and back, without using the airplane's own engines. ( More...

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Ric Wernicke 1
If so much fuel could be saved by a tow to the numbers, why isn't every heavy towed to the mark? Using a driver is not that expensive after you have bought the tow vehicle. Off the top of my head I can see a problem with getting the tow vehicle back to the gate after the tow.

Why is this "new" tow device being brought to market by a country smaller than Los Angeles County? It could oversold technology. Autonomous vehicles are already being used in post offices, but when things do not go well you don't lose a 200 million dollar airplane full of people. You simply need to pick up a few boxes.
David Sims 1
The big problem is the increased amount of traffic on the airport from all of the tugs moving to and from, increasing the possibility of an incursion or collision. There was another system in trial a while back that was an electric motor mounted to the aircraft landing gear that could propel the aircraft while only running the APU for power.
ToddBaldwin3 1
I thought El Al was trying that system out a few years ago.
ToddBaldwin3 1
It was tried at one time, for some reason Virgin at Heathrow comes to mind, but the plan was scrapped due to the logistics of towing the aircraft, and the the reasons Mr. Sims listed below.
pokrakam 1
Virgin trialled it in 2006/7, using regular tugs, but it was abandoned because of too much strain on the landing gear. TaxiBot has worked around this issue. More info at:


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