February 20, 2015
Innovative TaxiBot now used in real flight operations
Following approval by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Lufthansa LEOS, a subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik AG, has commenced operations with the innovative TaxiBot aircraft tractor, developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) with Lufthansa LEOS’ extensive support and cooperation. After extensive testing, the TaxiBot will now be used in real flight operations at Frankfurt Airport. At a media event held at Frankfurt Airport on February 19th, the TaxiBot’s towing procedures were demonstrated for local and international journalists, while taxiing a Lufthansa Boeing 737 to the take-off position. TaxiBot (NB) is a towbar-less 800-hp strong hybrid-electric aircraft tractor, controlled by the pilot and intended for towing aircraft between the gate and the runway with the aircraft’s engines turned-off. Accordingly, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Lufthansa LEOS and IAI for wide body aircraft certification testing. The test phase will be performed using a Boeing 747-400 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.