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Airbus Rejects Lithium Ion Batteries

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Airbus says it has abandoned lithium ion batteries for its new A350 airliner and it's because of all the problems rival Boeing is experiencing with its 787. "Airbus considers this to be the most appropriate way forward in the interest of program execution and A350 XWB reliability," spokeswoman Mary Anne Greczyn said. The flight test program will continue with lithium ion batteries but production models will all have the heavier, less energy-dense nickel cadmium batteries.

The company said it had a different design for the lithium ion batteries it intended to use and it believed its setup was less prone to the types of problems experienced by Boeing, but the questions raised by the ongoing investigation into the 787 sealed the deal for Airbus and prompted it to drop the technology "to optimize program certainty," Greczyn said. Meanwhile, Boeing is expected to propose a short-term fix designed to get its flagship airliner back in the air as early as this week. The Band-Aid solution would involve beefing up defenses against an in-flight fire with a titanium box and a high-pressure gas evacuation system. The FAA is reportedly cool to the idea.

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