Aircraft of the future could generate electricity by harnessing the energy from braking during landing to power taxiing to and from airport buildings, according to new research.
Using a plane’s braking system during landing to produce energy, which is currently wasted as heat produced by friction in the disc brakes, could save on fuel use and reduce emissions and noise.
According to the study funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) at the University of Lincoln, a landing Airbus 320 has around 3 MW of power available.
“Taxiing is a highly fuel-inefficient part of any trip by plane with emissions and noise pollution caused by jet engines being a huge issue for airports all over the world,” says Paul Stewart, who led the research. “If the next generation of aircraft that emerges over the next 15 to 20 years could incorporate this kind of technology, it would deliver enormous benefits.”
The researchers explored a range of different possibilities, but harnessing the braking of a landing aircraft was the only feasible option.
For further information:
easyJet to try out electric green taxiing system for aircraft (27-Feb)
Virgin Atlantic hails ‘revolutionary’ low-carbon aviation fuel (12-Oct 2011)
28 February 2012