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The back-up plan is in case regulators find issues with lithium batteries after the 787 troubles

In the wake of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner issues, Airbus said it's prepared to redesign or utilize alternatives to its A350 lithium-ion jet batteries.

Airbus expects to use lithium-ion batteries much like those used in the 787 Dreamliner, but with recent battery fires occurring in the 787 jets, Airbus is ready to make any necessary changes that authorities may require.

Airbus has addressed that fires could be a potential threat when using lithium-ion batteries, but feels safe with its designs enough to continue with efforts to use them.

"We identified this fragility at the start of development and we think we resolved it about a year ago," said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus CEO. "Nothing prevents us from going back to a classical plan that we have been studying in parallel.


"We have a robust design. If this design has to evolve, we have the time to do that. If it has to change in a more drastic way because the authorities reach the conclusion that the technology is not mature, then we have all the time we need to do this on the A350 before first delivery in the second half of 2014."

The 787's lack of fire-fighting system has been the subject of inspection over the last week, but Airbus declined to offer any details regarding the A350's fire-fighting system or on the battery's design overall.

Throughout January 2013, 787 Dreamliner jets through Japanese airlines All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) had various issues concerning the lithium-ion batteries. The 787s were grounded in the U.S., Japan and India while an investigation began.

Source: Reuters



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RE: Airbus better than Boeing ?
By US56 on 2/3/2013 2:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
In fact, the Concorde was not the first supersonic jet transport. That honor truly goes to the Douglas DC-8B. All DC-8 from the -20 (8B) to -50 series were supersonic capable. Not only supersonic capable, but supercruise capable. Once supersonic, the aircraft would continue to cruise at about Mach 1.01, no afterburner needed, surfing it's own shock wave as the B-70 was later designed to do. The DC-8 was originally designed to cruise just below Mach 1. Douglas engineers knew that under predictable circumstance an aircraft flying a that speed could enter the transonic region. For safety, the DC-8 was designed to maintain full control in transonic flight. My uncle worked for a major U.S. airline as a first officer and later captain. At first they let their 8B go supersonic if only to confirm the reports they had heard from other crews and later used the extra speed to make up time on the long over water flight from the west coast of the U.S. to Honolulu. There are many commercial airline passengers who went supersonic on a DC-8 and never had a clue since the jet would slip through the transonic region "like a warm knife through butter" according to my uncle. No control flutter, buffeting, aileron roll, or other behaviors typical of an early jet aircraft design going through the transonic region. Some crews weren't that careful about reducing speed when approaching the islands which led to numerous reports of sonic booms which could not be attributed to military aircraft flights. With the informal concordance of the FAA, the airline put a telltale on the Mach meters and crews who then failed to restrain their DC-8 from going supersonic either deliberately or by not carefully monitoring the autopilot were fined by the airline.


RE: Airbus better than Boeing ?
By cjc1103 on 2/5/2013 3:35:32 PM , Rating: 2
I call shenanigans.. there is no other information out there to support this account. Also if you read the account of the supersonic DC-8 test flight, it's obvious this could not be a normal operational mode. I'm going to assume the engines were at max thrust for the supersonic dive, and it took 10000+ feet in a dive to accelerate past Mach 1. Not to mention there were controllability problems, including aileron and rudder buzz, and lack of elevator effectiveness. They were lucky to bring it back in one piece.


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