Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) TaxiBot, the semi-robotic pilot-controlled aircraft tractor for dispatch towing, has obtained EASA certification for handling the Airbus A320 aircraft family.
TaxiBot, a semi-robotic pilot-controlled vehicle, is designed to transport commercial airline aircraft from terminal gates to the runway and back, without using the airplane’s own engines. TaxiBot started dispatch-towing commercial Lufthansa Boeing 737 (Classic) flights departing out of Frankfurt Airport in November 2014.
The Airbus certification includes the approval for engine start-up during taxi for all types of the A318, 319, 320, 321 aircraft including the NEO variants. Certification of the A320 aircraft family by Airbus and EASA is valid also for the FAA and it joins existing certification for operation of the TaxiBot with all types of the Boeing 737 aircraft. The combined certification for both the A320 and B737 families means the TaxiBot design can handle more than 70% of the world’s commercial airlines flights.
IAI, along with its industrial risk-sharing partner TLD, has been cooperating with Lufthansa LEOS in the development of the TaxiBot, with support of both OEMs Airbus and Boeing.
Original source - Airports International