Airbus Nixes Lithium-Ion Batteries for Latest Plane
Concerns over Boeing 787 lead Airbus to scrap controversial battery
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 15, 2013 9:24 AM CST
In this computer generated image released Tuesday June 16, 2009 by Airbus, an Airbus A350-900 bearing the Air Asia livery is seen.   (AP Photo/Airbus/HO)

(Newser) – Airbus abandoned its plans to use lithium-ion batteries for its new A350 airplanes due to the uncertainty surrounding the technology following the grounding of Boeing's 787, the company said. The European aerospace group said yesterday 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. "Airbus considers this to be the most appropriate way forward in the interest of program execution and A350 XWB reliability," said a rep. Click for more on the hidden danger of lithium batteries.

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
Feb 18, 2013 6:03 PM CST
And on the home front, hang on to your ni-cad cordless drill ...
Feb 16, 2013 11:40 PM CST
Boeing IS seeing how quickly it can change over to Ni-Cad batteries !!! It will take several if not four or five months to retrofit to different batteries!! The planes currently under build ARE being redesigned for the Ni-Cad battery !!! Airbus is benefiting from the Boeing problems big time !!!!
Feb 15, 2013 1:44 PM CST
No surprises here. The only question is why Boeing is taking so long to do the same thing.