Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 9

Downloaded from SAE International by Steven Sullivan, Wednesday, November 28, 2018

710446

Powered Wheels - A Concept for


Parking and Taxiing of
Commercial Transport Airplanes
B. C. Hainline, B. K. Sellereite, and K. V. Swanke
Commercial Airplane Div., The Boeing Co.

INVENTORS AND ENGINEERS have been intrigued with the space, the most complex and expensive loading bridges, and
use of powered wheels since the early days of fixed wing air more vehicular ramp services due to spotting variations (2).
planes. Concepts and motivation have varied but have in Another alternative uses main propulsion engines to taxi into a
cluded. nose-in dock and a tug to back the airplane to a taxi position
1. Wheel traction during takeoff to reduce takeoff distance. (90 deg power-in/push-out) where main propulsion engines
2.Prespinning wheels prior to touchdown to reduce tire can be used. This arrangement uses less ramp and dock space,
wear. less expensive loading bridges, and fewer vehicular services
3.Integrating takeoff wheel traction and landing wheel since more precise spotting allows use of more fixed ramp
braking to minimize overall weight (1)*. services. Departure is, however, dependent on a tug and the
4.Powering airplane wheels by a tractor to utilize the ground crew. The greater precision in following the docking
weighted airplane wheels for traction and thus reduce tug size, and undocking paths and achieving the final spotting position
weight, and maneuvering space. allows more fixed ramp services, less ramp space, and less ex
As commercial jet transport airplanes have become larger and pensive dock facilities (3).
more productive and airline competition has intensified, inte Breakaway and maneuvering forces require frequent main
gration of the airplane and airport facilities has become more engine power bursts beyond idle thrust with a resultant in
important to operation economics. Docking at the terminal by crease in noise and jet wake in the immediate vicinity of the
taxiing and maneuvering with main propulsion engines only terminal. The resultant noise, jet wake, smoke, and odor
(parallel power-in/out) requires the least time and is not de complicate the environment for the ground personnel, ramp
pendent on tugs; however, it requires the most ramp and dock equipment, and terminal facilities. Taxiing between the
terminal and the active runway requires inefficient operation
of main engines at off-design conditions with the resultant fuel
*Numbers in parentheses designate References at end of consumption having both economic and ecologic implications
paper. (4).

ABSTRACT
The concept of powered wheels as applied here is the pro operating time, ground equipment, ground personnel, and
pelling of an airplane on the ground by direct traction of land terminal space, and by increased airplane productivity. The
ing gear wheels using onboard power and under direct control use of direct wheel traction can improve the airport and
of the pilot. This concept suggests an improvement in terminal environment by reducing air pollution, jet blast, and
economic and ecologic factors associated with ground opera noise from main propulsion engines during taxi and parking.
tion of commercial transport airplanes. For the concept to be This paper is a preliminary look at requirements, configura
economically feasible, penalities for addition of airborne tions, and trades that require further investigation to establish
equipment must be overbalanced by savings in fuel, engine the role pf powered wheels in future air transportation.

1617
Downloaded from SAE International by Steven Sullivan, Wednesday, November 28, 2018

1618 B. C. HAINLINE, ET AL.

Propelling the airplane during ground operation by direct stationary under load. The /UB can vary from a normal value
traction of landing gear wheels with onboard power and direct of 0.04-0.05 to as high as 0.30 if the airplane remains station
control by the flight crew allows some new trades in the inte ary for extended periods at low temperature. Realistic µB
gration of the airplane with terminal facilities. Use of an on
board auxiliary power unit (APU) rather than main engines as data is not available, and because this parameter probably sizes
the power source during ground operations would provide the the system from a static torque standpoint, additional testing
maximum improvement in fuel consumption and the terminal is required to obtain data for a range of tire sizes and loads
environment. An idling main engine could be used to supple after soak at a range of time and temperatures.
ment APU power for taxiing beyond the immediate vicinity of ROLLING RESISTANCE - The total resistance to steady
the terminal. The addition of powered wheels increases air state, rolling movement on level, smooth, firm ground (dis
plane complexity, weight, maintenance, and cost. If the con regarding aero drag) is equal to a coefficient of rolling resis
cept is to be economically practical, there must be greater tance µR times the airplane gross weight, µR is a function of
savings in main engine operating time, fuel consumption, wheel bearing resistance and the interaction between the tire
ground crews, and ramp and docking facilities. and the ground. The total rolling resistance is the required
This is an introductory discussion of powered wheel system traction by the wheel drive system (or thrust from main en
requirements and concepts with suggestions for follow-on gines) to maintain constant speed under the specified condi
work to allow an evaluation of the role of powered wheels in tions. The µR is approximately 0.02 for commercial airplane
future air transportation. airport operations.
TAXIWAY AND RAMP GRADES - The FAA has established
TRACTION AND POWER REQUIREMENTS
the design standards (5) shown in Table 1 to assist in designing
The powered wheel drive system must provide adequate trac
gradients of surface areas for airports served by certified air
tion to overcome the resistance to motion and have a reason carriers. NASA has a program to measure runway and taxi
able acceleration capability. Two distinct operating modes profiles of 10-15 United States international airports. Three
are: initiate motion from a standstill; and sustain rolling and track runway and taxiway profiles are obtained by measuring
elevations at 2 ft intervals along a center track and along tracks
accelerate to desired speed after motion is initiated. The re 1 5 ft on each side of the center. Table 2 is a summary of an
quired initial traction is equal to the sum of the forces resisting analysis of data on the first four airports (6), and is applicable
motion initiated from a standstill.
Forces resisting motion equal breakaway resistance and, in to powered wheel grade requirements. "Maximum Sustained
addition, the resistance due to taxiway grade, turning, aero Grades" indicates grades extending more than 100 ft. "Max
dynamic drag caused by wind, and airplane inertia.
Not all of these factors are necessarily in effect at the same
time. After motion has been initiated, the powered wheel
traction must overcome the forces resisting rolling.
Forces resisting rolling equal rolling resistance and, in addi
tion, the resistance due to taxiway grade, turning, aerodynamic
drag caused by combined taxi speed and wind, and airplane
inertia.
Again, not all factors are necessarily in effect at the same
time.
The total traction required for a specified operation and the
maximum traction that can be developed at the tire/ground
interface under selected least favorable conditions determine
the number of wheels that must be powered. The maximum
traction which can be developed between a tire and the ground
is determined by the vertical load on the tire and the coeffi
cient of friction between the tire and the ground. The coeffi
cient of friction may vary from 0.05 for ice to 0.8 for dry con
crete and asphalt.
The power required at the wheels is proportional to the
rolling resistance and taxi speed.
BREAKAWAY RESISTANCE - The force required to
initiate rolling from a standstill on level, firm ground is equal
to the breakaway resistance which is equal to a coefficient of
breakaway resistance (uB) times the airplane gross weight.
µB is a function of wheel bearing breakaway and tire set. Tire
set is time-dependent, increasing with time as the tire remains
Downloaded from SAE International by Steven Sullivan, Wednesday, November 28, 2018

POWERED WHEELS-CONCEPT FOR AIRPLANES 1619

imum Local Grade" indicates grades computed from power requirements at the wheels versus taxi speed for serverai
differences in adjacent 2 ft increment measurements. These airplanes with a range of gross weights.
data based on four airports indicate that there are grades AERODYNAMIC DRAG - Aerodynamic drag resulting from
considerably greater than specified by FAA design standards. the relative motion between the airplane and the surrounding
Additional data are required for more airports plus data about air may be caused by wind, by airplane taxiing, or a combina
protruding tar strips and drainage ditches that cross taxiways. tion of both. Aero drag therefore may affect both the break
Sustained grades of 2.0%, local grades of 4.5%, and minimum away resistance and the rolling resistance. The traction
grades of 0.5% appear to be reasonable requirements. required to overcome aero drag is nearly insignificant when
Powered wheel static torque must overcome taxiway grade compared to that required to overcome breakaway resistance.
combined with normal breakaway resistance since an airplane Fig. 2 shows the low power required to overcome aero drag as
in a queue may be required to stop and then continue on at compared to rolling resistance.
any location along a taxiway. TURNING RESISTANCE - The resistance to turning is
AIRPLANE ACCELERATION - Resistance to motion caused by tire friction which results in tire elastic deformation
caused by airplane inertia is directly proportional to the air and scrubbing. Some of the most significant factors that
plane mass and the airplane acceleration. Fig. 1 relates accel influence the tire to ground interaction include: tire charac
eration to the required traction per 1000 lb gross weight. An teristics, tire load, yaw angle, curvature of the rolling path, and
acceleration of 0.5 ft/sec2 would require a traction of approxi coefficient of friction between the tire and the ground. The
mately 15.5 lb/ 1000 lb gross weight. Note that this force is in resistance to turning is also influenced by the landing gear
addition to traction required to overcome resistance to rolling, geometry and configuration. Main gear arrangements include
grade, etc. two wheels on each of two posts as for the 727 and 737, four
TAXI SPEED - The power required at the wheels to move wheel bogie trucks on each of two posts as for the 707, and
the airplane at a constant speed for a given resistance to move four-wheel bogie trucks on each of four posts as for the 747.
ment is proportional to the speed. None of the factors affect Each configuration has turning characteristics that affect
ing the resistance to movement discussed so far is velocity powered wheel requirements differently. Currently airplane
dependent. The power required is directly proportional to the low speed ground maneuvering is accomplished through nose
taxi speed. Taxi speed for current airplane operation is wheel steering, differential braking, and differential engine
influenced by many factors. The most important are: layout thrust. These are used separately or in combination according
of taxiways, ramps, and terminal facilities; maneuvering to circumstances. For an airplane with powered wheels the
requirements; congestion (airplanes, ground handling equip steering may be accomplished or assisted through differential
ment, wait for clearance, etc.); and airport authority regula traction on the wheels of each main gear. Fig. 3 is a simplified
tions. example of differential traction on a two-wheel, two-post,
Maximum taxi speeds of 50-60 knots are common for high main gear airplane of the 727 type with the nose gear follow
speed runway turnoffs. Since powered wheel operation is not ing the turn without contributing to turning forces (free
anticipated for that function, those high speeds are of no swivel). The nose gear turning angle has a significant effect on
concern here. Taxi speeds as high as 30 knots are expected turning resistance traction requirements and individual pow
on long, straight, unobstructed taxiways. The speed of 30 ered wheel control requirements. In high speed turning and
knots is, however, much higher than the maximum speed of high angle turning, airplane inertia causes asymmetrical vertical
23 mph (20 knots) recorded in Ref. 2, where most observed
speeds on open taxiways were in the range of 10-20 mph, with
13.7 mph the average of all observations. Taxi speeds for
rectilinear motion in the terminal areas were 5-10 mph with
speeds below 5 mph during turns. Fig. 2 is a plot of horse
Downloaded from SAE International by Steven Sullivan, Wednesday, November 28, 2018

1620 B. C. HAINLINE, ET AL.

loading and significant side loads. No high speed turn data are OVERALL TRACTION AND POWER REQUIREMENTS The
included herein; however, a general purpose airplane ground lack of reliable information in two important areas, namely
handling simulation has been developed at Boeing to analyze breakaway resistance and turning resistance, prevents establishment
this problem. Considerable airplane testing and simulation of overal requirements at this time. Airplane ground
analysis is required to establish detailed turning traction, testing is required to obtain credible data on the time and
power, and control requirements for various airplane config temperature effect on tire set and data on airplane turning resistance
urations. Whether turning traction or breakaway resistance which is configuration dependent. Table 3 sum marizes
from the tire set will establish static and low speed torque information on the variables affecting wheel drive traction
sizing is still to be established. for the two operating modes under consideration. The total
OPERATIONAL MODES - The two ground operating modes required traction during initiation of motion from a standstil
place different requirements on powered wheel equipment. may be in the order of 10% of airplane gross weight during
Maneuvering in the terminal area demands high torque for both modes of operation. The traction required after initiation
stopping, starting, and turning with high traction forces at low of motion is expected to remain high for terminal operation
speeds and with precise, differential control of the wheels. due to pos ible high turning resistance. The system should
Taxiing between the terminal and runway requires lower trac be designed to ac om odate only the majority of normal y
tion at higher speeds. It appears that the system should be expected conditions. In cases of extreme situations, taxiing
optimized in favor of the low speed requirements since the and parking should be ac omplished with main engines and
greatest benefits will be obtained in the terminal area where tugs. The
operation with main engines is less desirable than during high amount of traction which can be developed between a tire
speed taxi away from the terminal area. Available onboard and the ground is det rmined by the total vertical load on the
power should be used in a manner to minimize system com tire and the coefficient of friction between the tire and the
plexity and weight and optimize low speed maneuvering. ground. This coefficient varies with surface conditions from
approximately 0.05 for ice to 0.8 for dry concrete and asphalt.
The distribution of the airplane weight between the nose
gear and the main gear tires is det rmined by the center of gravity
location. For most commercial airplanes, at maximum taxi
gross weight, between 85-95% of the airplane weight is sup orted
by the main gear tires. Nose gear wheel drives would
be prefer ed if adequate traction could be developed. The
drive installation could be concentrated at one gear, and nose
gear wheel drive would be advantageous during aircraft turning
maneuvers. However, even with the center of gravity at
the most favorable position with 15% of the gross weight on the
nose gear, a tire ground coefficient of 0.67 would be required
to develop the suggested traction of 10% airplane gross
weight. Since adequate traction could not be developed on
wet concrete, multiple main gear wheels on opposite sides of
the airplane must be used. With 85% of the airplane weight on
the main gear wheels, the suggested traction could be
Downloaded from SAE International by Steven Sullivan, Wednesday, November 28, 2018

POWERED WHEELS-CONCEPT FOR AIRPLANES 1621

developed for tire to ground coefficients of 0.12 if all main POWER SOURCES AND AVAILABILITY
gear wheels were driven, and for a coefficient of 0.24 if half of
all main gear wheels were driven. The coefficient for packed Current jet transports have onboard secondary power sys
snow is 0.2. tems for electric, hydraulic, and pneumatic power that could
Moderate speeds of less than 5 mph are probably acceptable be utilized for powered wheels. During flight operation, most
for rectilinear motion in the terminal areas. A further reduc of this power is extracted directly from the main engines.
tion in speed during tight turns is expected. Power delivered Many of the more recent airplanes also have auxiliary gas
to the wheels in the order of approximately 50 hp/ 100,000 lb turbine engines that provide supplemental power for ground
of airplane gross weight may be acceptable for terminal operations independent of ground equipment or main engine
operation. The higher speeds desired during operation on the operation. Most of these auxiliary power units (APU) provide
taxiway will be limited by the amount of power that can be high pressure air for main engine starting and cabin air condi
delivered to the wheels, drive motor speed range, and overall tioning and shaft power for electric generators and/ or hydrau
gear reduction between the motor and the wheel. Assuming lic pumps. Table 4 shows typical secondary power capabilities
that 100 hp can be delivered to the wheels of a 100,000 lb during ground operation of several airplanes. Superficially, it
gross weight airplane, its speed capability up a 2% slope would appears that there is considerable choice as to the type and
be approximately 10 mph. Figs. 4 and 5 illustrate the effects amount of power available for powered wheels. Since the
of airplane gross weight and taxi speed on wheel-drive power benefits from powered wheels are greatest when main engines
requirements. are either not operating or a minimum number are operating at
low power, the ultimate objective is to use the APU alone.
Power extracted from one or more main engines could be used
Downloaded from SAE International by Steven Sullivan, Wednesday, November 28, 2018

1622 B. C. HAINLINE, ET AL.

if necessary to supplement the APU for higher speed taxi GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS - Powered wheel equip
operations away from the terminal. When main engine power ment should be isolated from other flight essential equipment
settings result in sufficient thrust to taxi the airplane, the to the maximum extent practical to minimize the effect on
powered wheels should be shut down. The top speed capa dispatch and flight reliability and maintenance cost. The pre
bility of a powered wheel system should be established by sent heat sink brakes should be retained in their current form
comparing the power available from the APU with secondary and should be used as the prime method of retarding airplane
power and thrust available from main engines. APUs on cur motion. Powered wheels should not be integrated with brakes
rent transports provide only minimum ground power require and need not have a braking capability. Because tire and
ments. Some were sized for engine starting while others were brake maintenance is a significant part of overall airplane
sized for ground air conditioning pulldown. During taxi, the maintenance time and operating cost, powered wheels should
power available for powered wheels is that in excess of other not increase the time and manpower for wheel, tire, and brake
essential requirements. replacement. Brake ventilation must not be restricted be
The 727 can be used as a typical example. With idling en cause brake cooling time can extend the time required be
gines, 159 electrical hp is available during taxi with a normal tween flights.
electric load of 106 hp. This leaves a net of 53 hp available. Both forward and reverse powered capability is required.
The APU can only supply 72 electrical hp so least essential Wheels on opposite sides of the airplane must be capable of
loads can be selected and dropped off to reduce the loads differential operation during turns. If a pair of adjacent
during taxi to 60 hp. This leaves only 12 electrical hp avail wheels is powered by the same unit, their speed differences
able for powered wheels. Even the total 72 hp from the APU must be considered to minimize tire scrubbing wear and in
appears marginal for powered wheels, so additional generation creasing maneuver loads. Wheels must be positively disen
capacity would be required to use the full shaft power capabil gaged from the drive system with a fail-free system to elimi
ity of the APU. Hydraulic power available from currently nate wheel drag during takeoff and prevent overspeeding the
installed electric motor driven pumps during APU only opera drive during landing or high speed taxi with main engines.
tion is also inadequate, so additional APU shaft driven pumps During powered wheel operation, disconnect provisions must
would be required if hydraulic power was to be used. be included to limit mechanism speeds induced by external
Hydraulic power required during taxi for brakes and nose aiding forces such as downgrades, engine thrust, or towing.
wheel steering would require priority over powered wheels. The drive must be capable of stalled operation and being
Pneumatic power as available from present APUs comes closest abruptly decelerated and stopped by external forces such as
to meeting powered wheel requirements. In present installa brakes, chocks, or a step as at the edge of a taxiway.
tions, electric loads have priority over pneumatic power extrac The wheel drive must survive in the landing gear environ
tion for cabin air conditioning. Powered wheels using pneu ment: landing gear motion and loads induced by touchdown
matic power would further compromise cabin air conditioning and truck pitching, wheel unbalance, shimmy, brake squeal
during many operations. vibration, and wheel and axle deflections; water, slush, dirt,
Additional secondary power system studies are required to and taxiway contaminants; and high temperature soak back
establish how much power could be made available for use by from brake heat sink.
powered wheels. These studies should include power genera Very little space is available on the gear, especially in the
tion and distribution to the main landing gear wheels with ex fully retracted or intermediate positions. Frequently, wheel
ténuons of present power systems and also with systems wells are so space limited that indentations in the doors and
tailored specifically for powered wheels. Higher powered ceiling are used to accommodate tires. Skid bars used for al
APUs may be required for airplanes with powered wheels. ternate actuation of doors are located close to wheels and
tires during normal operations and rub on portions of the tires
SYSTEM CONCEPTS AND
during emergency extension.
INSTALLATION CONSIDERATIONS
Requirements for high torque at low speed for breakaway
Powering airplane landing gear wheels is a greater design and maneuvering and lower torque at higher speeds for taxiing
tend to lead to complex mechanisms and approaches. The
challenge than it first appears. Including powered wheels in most emphasis should be placed on high torque, low speed
the original basic airplane design offers many possible ap operation in the terminal area. Simplicity and weight are
proaches, but the immediate challenge is to develop equip more important than taxi speed.
ment that could be added to existing airplanes by a retrofit
program. The basic components should be usable on a num WHEEL DRIVE CONCEPTS - Fig. 6 illustrates several pos
ber of different airplane models to reduce equipment and sible methods of driving landing gear wheels by transmitting
maintenance costs. Several aircraft equipment companies torque into the tire or wheel rim or integrating the unit into
the wheel.
have proposed methods of powering wheels, but since no
aircraft company has established suitable detail criteria, no Tire Drive - Basic components of a tire drive include the
comprehensive system design study has been possible. After drive motor, reduction gearing, and tire rollers. Torque is ap
evaluating many suggested approaches, a number of factors plied directly to the tire tread by rollers pushed against the
are emerging that suggest the following items should be con tires as indicated with tire diameter variations accommodated
sidered in future design studies. through lateral hinging. When powered wheels were not being
Downloaded from SAE International by Steven Sullivan, Wednesday, November 28, 2018

POWERED WHEELS-CONCEPT FOR AIRPLANES 1623

used, the rollers would be held free of the tires to prevent any through a clutch and overdrive mechanism into the outside
drag. A differential would accommodate wheel speed varia- wheel rim. Various degrees of integration of the drive com-
tions during turning. Free wheeling (with reversing provisions) ponents into the wheel and axle are possible. One approach
would prevent overspeeding when being driven by the tire. is an add-on ring gear applying torque through wheel rim
This scheme is adaptable to either two-wheeled gears with a drive keys and reacting loads through the axle with the power
torque scissors type mounting or on a four-wheeled bogie unit located between the axle and rim. Another approach is
with a truck mounted linkage. Driving landing gear wheels to bury the power unit and reduction gearing in the axle and
from rollers on the tire tread was used on a tow tug designed clutch into the wheel rim. Current airplanes have brake anti-
for the B-47 and B-52 (7). Prototype units were not success- skid wheel speed transmitters located on the outside ends of
ful because driving only two tires on one main gear developed the axles and driven by the wheel hub.
inadequate traction for ground handling except under ideal Integrated Wheel Drive - Some large off-the-highway vehicles
conditions. Taxiway contamination also limited the traction have combined the drive unit, axle, and wheel into an inte-
that could be transmitted by the drive roller to the tire. grated unit. This concept may not be adequately adaptable
Whether these difficulties can be overcome by powering more since airplane axles and wheels must be lightweight relative
rollers, roller surface design, and roller force without affecting to their load capacity. Retrofit costs would probably be high
the tire wear is yet to be established. for this type unit.
Wheel Rim Drive - In this concept, torque is transmitted OVERALL SYSTEM CONCEPTS - Each of the wheel drive
concepts is adaptable to electric, hydraulic, or pneumatic
power sources. Control schemes include varying the power
generation source, modulating the transmitted power, and
controlling the final drive unit. Realistic requirements and
sizing must be established before detail trade studies of overall
systems are useful.

POTENTIAL BENEFITS FROM POWERED WHEELS

Potential benefits from use of powered wheels are suggested


in the introduction. If the combined cost of ownership of
airplanes and ground facilities is less with powered wheels
than without, then the penalties for addition of powered
wheels are justified. Reduction of main engine operating time,
fuel consumption, ground crews, ramp and docking facilities,
turnaround time, noise, and jet blast all have economic im-
pact. Reduction of air pollution is proper but should be con-
sidered an added benefit.
ECONOMIC EVALUATION - A preliminary economic eval-
uation of a 727 airplane operating out of a 90 deg nose-in
dock was made to develop an economic feel for powered
wheels. Ground maneuver operation with powered wheels
was compared with conventional power-in with main engines
and push-out with a tug. The Appendix lists the study assump-
tions and the incremental operating costs. This study indicated
that operating with powered wheel system is $1.17 less per
trip than for standard push-out type ground operations. This
would be an annual savings per 727 airplane (based on 1967
ATA utilization) of $2640. Assuming 15% cost of capital and
8 years remaining service life, the present value of this savings
would be $12,650 per airplane. No credit was given for cost
reduction in terminal space and ramp facilities other than the
tug and driver.
Reduction in taxi fuel was the dominant savings in this
study. If the taxi time with main engines was increased signi-
ficantly, there would be no fuel savings and powered wheels
would not have an economic advantage. The initial cost of
powered wheel airplane equipment including a larger capacity
APU was the dominant penalty. If the presently installed
APU were usable, the savings could be increased. Conversely,
Downloaded from SAE International by Steven Sullivan, Wednesday, November 28, 2018

1624 B. C. HAINLINE, ET AL.

equipment costs could increase sufficiently to eliminate any taxi operations to and from the active runway and in the
savings. terminal area. The following assumptions were made: main
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT - Powered wheels engines used to taxi onto active runway; ratio of main engine
can reduce noise, jet blast, and air pollution in the airport idle to cruise power emission approximately 5:1 (by weight);
terminal area by reducing main engine operating requirements APU operated at maximum rated power; ratio of total main
during taxiing and parking. engine to APU fuel flow per hour 7:1; an 8 min period for
Noise - Jet engines generate high noise levels even when op queuing included for each mode of operation; taxi speed with
erated at idle. Idle engine thrust is normally adequate for powered wheels one-half of speed with main engines; main
taxiing, however, during breakaway conditions and tight turn engine taxi operating time and fuel consumed reduced to
maneuvering in the terminal areas, higher power settings are 1/6 with powered wheel operation; for conventional taxi,
needed for short periods resulting in a corresponding increase main engines operated 23 min; and for powered wheel oper
in noise level and jet blast. Table 5 compares ramp noise levels ation, main engine operated 4 min and APU 37 min.
at various positions around a large four engine airplane. Most The study indicates that pollution caused by taxi opeations
powered wheel operations would use APU power only, so with main engines could be reduced 80% if powered wheels
the APU noise level is used as the basis for comparison. Sub were used.
stantial noise level reductions are indicated if main engine
operation could be avoided or reduced. The large reduction CONCLUSIONS
in noise level in front of the airplane is expected for an air
plane with tail mounted APU.
Jet Blast - Wake velocities over 150 mph occur behind main Cursory studies of powering landing gear wheels to reduce
engines during breakaway and taxi maneuvering. Table 6 the cost of commercial transport airport taxiing and parking
lists the distance behind the most aft portion of several air operations and terminal and ramp facilities indicate potential
planes at which the wake velocity has reduced to 50 mph. economic and environmental benefits. Additional joint studies
The potential for damage to ground personnel and equipment by aircraft and equipment manufacturers, airport authorities,
is apparent. Powered wheels could reduce or eliminate main and airline operators are required to determine if the airline
engine jet wake in the terminal area. operator can achieve a real dollar savings.
Air Pollution - Aircraft operation accounts for approxi Follow-on studies should include :
mately 1% of urban pollution. Of this amount, an estimated 1.Establishing performance goals- maneuver load tests with
80% is caused by aircraft ground operation (8). A medium different landing gear variables; and breakaway load tests with
range, three engine transport was used to evaluate the reduc different wheel/tire variables.
tion in air pollution possible if the APU could be used for 2.Establishing airplane constraints: airplane power sources
and availability; airplane geometry and space; and concepts
adaptable to retrofit on several airplane models.
3.Establishing component and system preliminary designs
for costing and performance evaluation.
4.Evaluating costs and benefits for airline operations and
airport facilities.
5.Modifying requirements based on prior trades and repeat
studies.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

American and Eastern Airlines' studies of ground operations


and terminal design have provided most of the motivation be
hind these powered wheel studies. Curtiss-Wright, Garrett/
AiResearch, General Electric, and Sundstrand have partici
pated in Boeing design studies of wheel drive concepts. Their
efforts are acknowledged as having contributed to the work
accomplished to date.

REFERENCES

1. D. W. Deamer, "Analysis of Combined Air-Turbine Brake


and Hydraulic-Drive Components for Aircraft Wheels." Naval
Air Systems Command Technical Report No. NA67H-279,
March 31, 1967.
Downloaded from SAE International by Steven Sullivan, Wednesday, November 28, 2018

POWERED WHEELS-CONCEPT FOR AIRPLANES 1625

2."Terminal Airside Analysis, Vol. 1, Push-Out and Hard Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular AC No.
stands." Eastern Airlines Planning Operations, Miami, July 150/5325-2B, February 18, 1970.
29, 1970. 6.A. W. Hall, "Three-Track Runway and Taxiway Profiles
3.W. A. Browning, "Evaluation Tests of Precision Taxi and Measured at International Airports A, B, C, and D." National
Docking Guidance Systems." American Institute of Aero Aeronautics and Space Administration Technical Notes NASA
nautics and Astronautics, AIAA Paper No. 70-916, July 20, TN D-5444 and TN D-5703, September 1969 and March 1970,
1970. respectively.
4.R. F. Sawyer, "Fundamental Processes Controlling the 7.R. E. Pearson, "Ground Handling Airplane Wheel Drive
Air Pollution Emissions for Turbojet Engines." American Tug for B-52 and B-47." Boeing Document 12438, December
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, AIAA Paper No. 26, 1951.
69-1040, October 24, 1969. 8."Nature and Control of Aircraft Engine Exhaust Emis
5."Airport Design Standards-Air Carrier Airports-Surface sions." Northern Research and Engineering Corporation,
Gradient and Line of Sight." Department of Transportation Report 1134-1, November 1968.
APPENDIX

ECONOMIC EVALUATION

Comparison of powered wheel ground maneuver operation minal gates. The assumptions and the resulting incremental
with standard ground maneuver operation from nose-in ter operating costs per flight are shown in Tables A-1 to A-3.
Operating cost for powered wheel system is $1.17 less per
trip than for standard (push-out) type ground maneuver opera
tions. This is an annual savings per 727 airplane (based on
1967 ATA utilization) of $2,640. The present value of this
savings (assuming 15% cost of capital and 8 years remaining
service life) per airplane is $12,650.