Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has finalized a $97 million deal with US-based Bankers Capital Transportation Leasing Group, for the sale of its TaxiBot aircraft towing system.
The deal, signed at the Farnborough International Airshow last week, marks the system's first sale.
TaxiBot is an aircraft towing system for narrow-body and wide-body aircrafts. The system has a semi-robotic pilot controlled vehicle that transport airplanes from the airport gate to the runway and back, without using the airplane's engines.
According to an IAI press release, the systems will be delivered between 2013 and 2015 and Bankers Capital will provide the TaxiBot to airlines and airports.
The companies plan to set up an operational testing site for the towing system in North America by the end of 2013.
According to IAI, "TaxiBot is the first successful hybrid diesel-electric vehicle that enables an airplane to taxi from the gate to the runway without its engines running."
Yehoshua Eldar, IAI's VP of business development and subsidiaries said the deal was "an important landmark in the introduction of the TaxiBot into the North American market.
"Introducing a new technology to the aviation world is a challenging mission and we are committed to support our customers in order to ensure that this breakthrough technology will become a great commercial and environmental success."
Bankers Capital Managing Member Steven Alevy added that, "The world's greatest investors, like Warren Buffet and leading technology companies like Microsoft, Intel and Google have invested in Israel because it consistently produces leading-edge technology breakthroughs.
"And the best and brightest in Israel are at IAI, where they have invented the new TaxiBot technology. The TaxiBot system will have a profound impact on the aviation industry and we are proud and excited to be part of the team that is bringing this new technology to market."