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Airbus to drop lithium-ion batteries following Dreamliner problems

15 February 2013

Airbus said on February 15 that it would switch to traditional nickel-cadmium batteries for its new A350 passenger jet following problems with lithium-ion batteries on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. The European aircraft manufacturer said it had taken the decision to prevent further delays in initial deliveries of its new A350. 

The Airbus A350 will be launched in 2014
The Airbus A350 will be launched in 2014

The new A350 was originally due to be equipped with lithium-ion batteries.

"We want to mature the lithium-ion technology but we are making this decision today to protect the A350's entry into service schedule," an Airbus spokeswoman said.

Industry executives, insurers and safety officials told the Reuters newsagency the technology was being questioned at senior levels as investigators struggle to find the cause of incidents that led to the grounding of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

These included a fire on board a parked 787 in Boston and an in-flight problem on another plane in Japan.

The A350 is due to enter service in the second half of 2014 compared with an initial target of 2012 when it was launched as Europe's answer to the light-weight 787 Dreamliner.

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