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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 maugrimtr on 2/5/2013 6:38:00 AM , Rating: 2
Somewhere in Boeing is an engineer report stating that lithium ion batteries are a fire hazard and it's likely dozens, if not hundreds, of pages long with stacks of alternatives and safeguards. Somewhere is the manager who had final say in judging that risk to be acceptable so they could cut corners, start delivering aircraft and making profits.

I'm also extremely dubious about the rest of the aircraft's safety. If they can't contain a fire from a damn battery that everyone knows is a technology prone to be volatile when overheated/charged, then how can we expect them to have dealt with all the numerous other issues in an aircraft of this size and complexity.

Damn right, I'd prefer to be on an Airbus or an older Boeing with a good modern track record.


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