Pentagon to Use Lithium-Ion Batteries for F-35 Jets Despite Boeing 787 Woes
February 13, 2013 8:22 PM
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The Pentagon said it has a different manufacturer than Boeing
Despite the issues that Boeing has encountered with
its 787 Dreamliner jet
, the Pentagon plans to stick with lithium-ion batteries for its F-35 fighter jet.
According to Joe DellaVedova, spokesman for the Pentagon's F-35 program, the F-35's lithium-ion battery is made by a different manufacturer than that of the 787s. Saft Groupe SA manufactures the two major batteries used on the F-35 while
GS Yuasa Corp. makes
those for the 787.
In addition to a different manufacturer, the F35's batteries have undergone very strenuous testing.
"The bottom line is the lithium-ion batteries used on the F-35s have been through extensive tests and have redundant systems to protect the aircraft and battery compartments; they are considered safe," said DellaVedova.
DellaVedova added that there have been a few minor issues, like the battery not starting correctly in colder temperatures, but these are being addressed.
Saft Groupe SA also makes lithium-ion batteries for Airbus' A350 jets. However, earlier this month, Airbus said it
had a back-up plan
in case authorities made any changes to the use of these batteries after the 787 troubles.
"We have a robust design," said
Fabrice Bregier, Airbus CEO.
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."
Throughout January 2013, 787 Dreamliner jets through Japanese airlines All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) had various issues concerning their lithium-ion batteries. The 787s were grounded in the U.S., Japan and India while the investigation began.
Earlier this week, it was discovered that the cause of the JAL fire at the
Boston Logan Airport on January 7 was the short-circuiting of eight individual battery cells, which led to
thermal runaway condition
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RE: Made in America - not
2/14/2013 12:09:05 AM
A123 didn't set a good example for American-made high tech batteries. But then you have Tesla who actually know what they're doing. I mean Tesla has their technology in almost a dozen OEM vehicles and devices now. If Elon Musk was serious in Iron Man 2, he even wants to build an electric helicopter :)
In all seriousness, the outsourcing for the 787 is ridiculous. There isn't anything wrong with Yuasa they make excellent batteries (like the LiPo in my motorcycle) and they have nearly 100 years experience manufacturing battery technology. The problem is the design Boeing gave them. It isn't a manufacturing or quality control issue, its a design issue.
If Boeing had actually considered a potential design problem, they would have built in a backup plan to divide the battery pack into two or more seperate compartments. They went to such extremes to build a drop-down airdam generator! But they didn't think to have an extra few cubic feet of space in some compartment...
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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