TaxiBot Sets a New Record - Taxiing a Fully-Loaded Airbus 320 at a speed of Twenty Three Knots
TaxiBot set a new record by reaching a speed of twenty three knots during taxiing of a fully-loaded (seventy four ton) Airbus 320 aircraft.
The Narrow-Body (NB) TaxiBot has proven its ability to bring the airplane to near its take-off position at the same speed as aircraft which are taxiing using their own jet engines. This record speed was achieved during the latest tests held at the Chateauroux test site, without exceeding the maximum allowed fatigue load on the nose landing gear.
While conventional tow-barless tractors are limited by the original aircraft manufacturer’s (Airbus and Boeing) guidelines to tow airplanes at speeds of up to 17 knots in maintenance towing operation (with 60% of Max Takeoff Weight), TaxiBot provides the required power to move fully loaded airplanes (at Max Takeoff Weight) at up to 23 knots, without the need to change or replace the airplane's APU (auxiliary power unit). TaxiBot allows the pilot full control of the system, and operation is performed using the airplane's tiller and brake pedals as in regular taxiing. Pilot training is therefore minimal.