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February 20, 2011 10:00 am

Israeli Company Teams up with Airbus to Make First Ever ‘Plane Tugboat’

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Green Prophet – The idea has been around for a while, but engineers weren’t able to make it work. At least as far asIsrael Aerospace Industries (IAI) knows, the Taxibot Dispatch Towing system is the world’s first tugboat-like way to tow both wide and narrow body commercial airplanes to taxi to and from the gate and the runway without the use of their jet engines.

Consider that a Boeing 747 can burn through a ton of jet fuel for every 17 minutes it’s taxiing: I spoke with the project leader at IAI, and I learned how the TaxiBot can save billions of dollars of runway fuel, and greenhouses gases.

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