Designed and developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the pushback tractor TaxiBot will be manufactured by TLD in France, an airport ground support equipment (GSE) specialist.
The pushback tractors will be available in narrow and wide versions for the Airbus A320 and A380 series respectively, both powered by industrial engines supplied by Scania. The narrow version of the TaxiBot Narrow Body is powered by two 9-liter engines developing 294 kW each, while the TaxiBot Wide Body will use two 16-litre V8 engines developing 566 KW each. The engines comply with the Tier 4 Interim emissions legislation.
TLD chose engines from Scania for their compact and comprehensive modular design, which prepares them for future emissions legislation developments.
The TaxiBot tractors will be used to move aeroplanes between gate and runway. This saves jet fuel and reduces greenhouse gas and noise emissions as the aeroplanes will not have to start their engines until minutes before take-off.
The development of the TaxiBot is a joint venture between IAI and Airbus, and has a potential order volume of 1,500 TaxiBots from TLD until the year 2022.
Trials have been run with Lufthansa Boeing 747s in Germany and with Airbus in France. Currently, the TaxiBot Narrow Body is undergoing extensive testing with an Airbus A320 at Chateauroux Airport in France.