Officials at Airbus announce that the company will use traditional batteries instead of lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries when it launches the A350 XWB aircraft next year.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded all Boeing 787 Dreamliners last month, after a smoldering battery forced an emergency landing in Japan, and another battery caught on fire in a plane parked in Boston, MA.
Officials at Airbus say they are confident the Li-ion battery the company developed for the A350 XWB aircraft is safe.
“However, to date, the root causes of the two recent industry Li-ion main batteries incidents remain unexplained to the best of our knowledge,” reads an Airbus statement. “In this context, and with a view to ensuring the highest level of program certainty, Airbus has decided to activate its ‘Plan B’ and therefore to revert back to the proven and mastered nickel cadmium main batteries for its A350 XWB program at Entry into Service (EIS). Airbus considers this to be the most appropriate way forward in the interest of programme execution and A350 XWB reliability.”
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating what sparked the Boeing battery fire in Boston. The FAA is also investigating the Dreamliner’s design.