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Airbus pulling Li-Ion battery option from A350

After the recent issues with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner's lithium Ion batteries, Airbus is now pulling the batteries from the options available on their A350 jetliners.

Over the past month, Boeing has been dealing with the rather serious issue of the Lithium-Ion batteries catching fire on the 787 Dreamliner. The 787 planes have been grounded while Boeing tries to investigate the causes of, and potential solutions to the problem. One rather central problem is that Lithium-Ion batteries are more reactive than many other batteries, and thus are more likely to combust. They store a large amount of energy in them, and if they are damaged or overheated, that energy can be released violently.

The charred remains of a Lithium Ion battery from the 787


Because of the nature of the Li-Ion batteries, and due to the effects already seen on Boeing's jetliners, Airbus has now announced that they are pulling the battery type from their A350 series jetliner, opting instead for the less reactive Nickel-based batteries which have been the standard in the airline industry until recently. Boeing has stated previously that they will not abandon the Li-Ion batteries, and indeed, if handled correctly, they should not pose any threat. However, one can't really blame Airbus for adopting a "rather safe than sorry" approach. Of course, dropping the battery type also ensures that Airbus distances itself from any potential bad press due to Boeing's problems.

David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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