07 Nov '11, 12pm

Making a Boeing 737 More like a Prius

Just as some hybrid cars move at low speeds solely on electricity, Boeing 737s can be made to do the same, reducing fuel burn and emissions, according to a company called WheelTug . Wheeltug An electric motor system can drive a plane to and from the airport gate, reducing fuel emissions. On Monday, the company announced a tentative deal to equip 20 jets of the Israeli carrier El Al with a motor system that eliminates the need for a tug to pull the plane away from the airport gate. The company sells a pair of electric motors embedded in the aircraft’s nose wheel that can be used to back the plane away from the gate, eliminating “pushback,” and then enable it to taxi out to the runway at a speed of up to 28 miles per hour. The motors in the nosewheel run off electricity from a small engine in the back of the plane called the auxiliary power unit, which is generally used to k...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/07/making-a-boeing...

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