The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


Weekly business news
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Friday, February 15, 2013, 12:42 p.m.

Airbus to drop lithium-ion batteries in A350

PARIS -- Airbus abandoned its plans to use lithium-ion batteries for its new A350 airplanes because of the uncertainty surrounding the technology following the grounding of Boeing's 787, the company said.
The European aerospace group said Thursday it would revert to conventional nickel-cadmium batteries for the A350. The plane is a wide-body long-range jet rival to the 787 and is expected to make its first flight around the middle of the year.
Airbus says it does not expect the battery switch to delay the A350's schedule.
Lithium batteries are lighter and can store more energy than other types of batteries of an equivalent size, and manufacturers view them as an important way to save on fuel costs. But the batteries are also more likely to short circuit and start a fire than other batteries if they are damaged, if there is a manufacturing flaw or if they are exposed to excessive heat.
Federal officials grounded the 787 last month because of problems with its lithium-ion batteries that caused one fire and forced another plane to make an emergency landing.
"Airbus considers this to be the most appropriate way forward in the interest of program execution and A350 XWB reliability," spokeswoman Mary Anne Greczyn said.
Airbus noted the A350 uses batteries in a different setup than the 787, making it unlikely that it would face the same problems. Its A350 flight-test program would still go forward with lithium-ion batteries.
But because the causes of the problems with the 787 batteries remain unclear, Airbus decided to make the switch "to optimize program certainty," Greczyn said. Airbus is a unit of Netherlands-based EADS NV.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on Airbus' decision to drop the lithium-ion batteries, noting the incidents with the 787 have led to industry uncertainty about future safety standards for the technology.
Story tags » 787Airbus

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

HeraldNet Classifieds

HeraldNet highlights

Tulips in bloom
Tulips in bloom: Photo gallery: A rainbow of color in Skagit County
He was a devoted family man
He was a devoted family man: Stephen Neal was working in a home when the mudslide hit
'Blood moon'
'Blood moon': Lunar eclipse delights, at least where skies are clear
No longer alone
No longer alone: Lynnwood couple, 96 and 85, say it's never too late to wed