Airbus drops lithium-ion batteries for new A350

15 February 2013
By Sofia Mitra-Thakur
Mobile version
Share |
Airbus expected to use Saft's nickel-cadmium batteries

Airbus expected to use Saft's nickel-cadmium batteries

Airbus will drop lithium-ion batteries and switch to traditional nickel-cadmium batteries for its new A350 passenger jet following battery problems on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, the European planemaker said.

Airbus said it had taken the decision to prevent further delays in initial deliveries of the A350 amid uncertainty over whether investigations into Boeing's battery problems would lead to changes in regulations.

Reuters had reported that Airbus was considering such a move to limit development risks on its $15bn airliner.

"We want to mature the lithium-ion technology but we are making this decision today to protect the A350's entry into service schedule," a spokeswoman said.

Industry executives, insurers and safety officials had told Reuters the technology's predictability was being questioned at senior levels as investigators struggle to find the cause of incidents that led to the grounding of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

These included a fire on board a parked 787 in Boston and an in-flight problem on another plane in Japan.

The A350 is due to enter service in the second half of 2014 compared with an initial target of 2012 when it was launched as Europe's answer to the lightweight 787 Dreamliner.

Airbus will use lithium-ion batteries for initial test flights due to start in the summer of 2013 but make the switch to the traditional and slightly heavier battery before the plane enters service.

French company Saft makes the lithium-ion battery that has been ditched for the A350 and supplies traditional nickel-cadmium batteries to the rest of Airbus product range.

A Saft spokeswoman said that Airbus was expected to use Saft nickel-cadmium batteries to replace the lithium-ion ones it has been developing.

Airbus says it did not expect the battery switch to set back the A350's schedule.

"Airbus considers this to be the most appropriate way forward in the interest of programme execution and A350 XWB reliability," spokeswoman Mary Anne Greczyn said.

The plane-maker said its A350 flight-test programme would still go forward with lithium-ion batteries, but because what caused the problems with the 787 batteries remained unclear, it decided to make the switch "to optimise programme certainty".

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1606

"Where would Frankenstein and his creative mind fit into today's workplace? Should we fear technological developments or embrace them?"

E&T jobs

  • Graduate Electrical Engineers

    AECOM
    • United Kingdom and Ireland
    • Competitive

    Due to the diverse nature of our business there are many different teams each with very different responsibilities.

    • Recruiter: AECOM

    Apply for this job

  • Network Innovation Engineer / Analyst - UK Power Sector

    Premium job

    Nortech Management Ltd
    • Birmingham, West Midlands or Pershore (Worcestershire)
    • £30,000 - £35,000 (depending on experience) + benefits

    Network Innovation Engineer / Analyst to join a team of talented technology enthusiasts who design and support the low carbon networks of the future.

    • Recruiter: Nortech Management Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer with Strong telecoms background

    Premium job

    Sure South Atlantic Ltd
    • Falkland Islands

    Sure South Atlantic Ltd currently has a unique engineering opportunity in their Falkland Islands office. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, teeming ...

    • Recruiter: Sure South Atlantic Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Cyber, Communication, Information and Data Scientist roles

    Premium job

    Dstl
    • Porton Down, Salisbury
    • Competitive salaries

    Information is everything. Use it to serve your country and help keep us safe.

    • Recruiter: Dstl

    Apply for this job

  • Production Engineer

    Premium job

    Compact Engineering
    • Thirsk / Leeds / Banbury / Colchester / Cambridge
    • Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience, knowledge, aptitude and capability

    A Production Engineer with some knowledge and understanding of radiant energy transfer.

    • Recruiter: Compact Engineering

    Apply for this job

  • Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Nikon Metrology Europe
    • Tring, Hertfordshire

    Nikon Metrology is looking for an Electronics Engineer to join our Electronics Team based in Tring (UK).

    • Recruiter: Nikon Metrology Europe

    Apply for this job

  • Engineering Manager

    BAE Systems
    • Hampshire, England, Portsmouth
    • Competitive package

    Would you like to play a vital role in managing and implementing the correct governance in order to enable BAE Systems to provide assurance and integrity of supply chain data? We currently have a vacancy for an Engineering Manager - Product Integrity

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Engineering Project Manager - Electrical & Automation

    Nestle
    • York, North Yorkshire
    • c£45,000 + Car Allowance + Bonus + Excellent Benefits

    Nestlé Product Technology Centre in York currently has an excellent opportunity for an Engineering Project Manager

    • Recruiter: Nestle

    Apply for this job

  • Consultant Engineer - Test

    BAE Systems
    • Farnborough, Hampshire, England
    • Negotiable

    Consultant Engineer - Test Would you like to be a lead within an exciting team working on one of the UK's largest defence projects? We currently have a vacancy for a Consultant Engineer - Test at our site in Ash Vale. As a Consultant Engineer - Test, you

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • ELECTRICAL PROJECT ENGINEER

    SSE
    • Reading, Berkshire
    • SALARY: £37,588 TO £55,669 + CAR (SSE8/9), DEPENDING ON SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

    SSE are looking to recruit an Electrical Project Engineer into office in Reading

    • Recruiter: SSE

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T