Columbus thought this was China?  He thought they had rum like this in China?

But — as always — I digress. 

There is news from the competitor to WheelTug: Airbus signs MoU with Honeywell and Safran to develop electric taxiing solution for the A320 Family.  This memorandum of understanding is not necessarily good news or bad news — but it is news.

It’s bad if it means Honeywell and Safran will ultimately take part — or all! — of the e-taxi market WheelTug hopes to serve.  (To date they have signed no actual airlines; WheelTug has signed 13.)

It’s good if it helps persuade the world that “e-taxi” is really on the way.  Just as everyone can’t wait for Apple to come out with a larger iPhone (can we?), which presumably will debut mid-2014 (won’t it?), and just as no one would today buy a TV without a remote control (but no one ever did until they were invented), so my hope is that five years from now passengers — and pilots and environmentalists — will be testy indeed if the commercial jet they’ve boarded has to wait for a tug to back them out of their gate, then burn fuel for 45 minutes as they inch along waiting to take off.  Not to mention the passengers in rows 25 to 36 wondering why on earth they can only board and deplane from the front door jet bridge instead of the rear.

The Honeywell Safran solution seems to weigh at least twice as much as WheelTug, and — perhaps fatally — will live in the main landing gear, butt to jowl with the scalding hot brakes.  To a layman — and I am only that — this does not sound like the winning bid.

But now I have to go have a rum funny and watch the sun set, as it surely will.  My question: why did Columbus ever sail back?  Because there was no WiFi?  Well, now there is.



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