The FAA-approved Boeing service bulletin for the 787 calls for modification of the charger and battery monitoring unit to narrow the acceptable level of charge. In essence, this means lowering the maximum charge allowed and raising the minimum level of discharge allowed. In other words, it cuts the performance gain the lithium-ion technology is supposed to bring.
UK-based Satair has opened an FAA-approved battery repair shop in Atlanta. The facility is designed to service nickel-cadmium and sealed lead-acid aircraft batteries of various models and sizes manufactured by Saft, Marathon, Concorde, Gill Teledyne and Hawker as well as smaller aircraft battery packs. The new shop will also hold inventory of battery parts for service and be supported by Satair’s regional and global battery support organization.
California-based Concorde Battery has been in business since 1979 and designs and manufactures more than 90 models of original equipment and direct replacement batteries for both the fixed- and rotary-wing markets.
Concorde Battery (Stand 2404) is exhibiting its range of improved lead-acid aircraft batteries. Although lead-acid is old battery technology, having been invented in 1859, it may be soon the only one available for aviation use. According to Concorde executives, nickel-cadmium batteries could be banned to protect worker health and lithium-ion models seem too hazardous for airborne applications.
“We have a specialized process to repair damaged cadmium that makes it particularly suitable to AOG applications,” Derek Vanek, Sifco Applied Surface Concepts manager of inside sales and support, told AIN. Vanek explained that high-strength steel, such as that used in landing gear and other cadmium-plated structural components, is susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement.
Bombardier Challenger 300 operators now have a choice of replacing the jet’s original nickel-cadmium main ship battery with a new Concorde RG-441 lead-acid battery. The FAA has awarded Concorde (Booth No. 2039) a supplemental type certificate (STC No. ST01488WI) for installation of the RG-441 lead-acid battery.
Aircraft maintenance does not exactly move forward technologically at the speed of light. Instead, it appears the industry is in a constant state of making things incrementally better. A small innovation here, some modification to an existing procedure there, a reemphasis on the importance of service, and the result is that operators get better, faster, more cost-effective maintenance.
Aero Battery of Cincinnati has received its first FAA Diamond Award, with all of the company’s technicians having received FAA-approved training last year. Aero Battery has been selling and servicing aviation lead acid and nickel-cadmium batteries since 1973 to operators in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.