The photo of a badly burned Apple iPhone that circulated after the phone caught fire during a Regional Express flight has raised important questions about lithium-ion battery safety among a wide aviation audience. The incident occurred after the Regional Express Saab 340B landed in Sydney, Australia, on Nov.
The prospect of one laptop computer or smartphone erupting into lithium-battery-fed flames is daunting enough, but what about a pallet of lithium batteries carried as cargo? Some fiery accidents have been blamed on just that, and so far authorities have done little to prevent this type of accident from recurring.
The fiery failure of a lithium-ion battery powering an Apple iPhone 4 aboard Regional Express Flight ZL319 last Friday raises the specter of potential fire hazards because of the many li-ion-powered devices carried on aircraft.
The FAA has issued Special Conditions for the Cessna 680 Sovereign, for which Cessna proposes to use rechargeable lithium-ion main batteries and APU start batteries. According to the FAA, lithium-ion batteries differ significantly from the nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cad) and lead-acid rechargeable batteries currently approved.
Under a contract signed by Eurocopter Deutschland and Mid-Continent, Eurocopter EC135 and EC145T2 models will be equipped with Mid-Continent Instruments True Blue Power MD835 emergency power supply systems.
Gulfstream Aerospace selected Securaplane’s lithium-ion battery as standard equipment on its new G650. The multimillion-dollar deal marks the first time a Gulfstream aircraft will feature the technology, which is some 50-percent lighter than conventional NiCad or lead-acid batteries and carries a higher energy density. The subsidiary of UK-based Meggitt said the weight reduction per shipset equates to nearly one passenger.
Gulfstream Aerospace has chosen Securaplane’s lithium-ion battery as standard equipment on its new G650 business jet. The multi-million-dollar deal marks the first time a Gulfstream aircraft will feature the technology, proven some 50-percent lighter than conventional NiCad or lead-acid batteries and carrying a higher energy density.
The FAA has published a draft policy (ANM-113-10-004) that could affect the certification of permanently installed rechargeable lithium batteries in Part 25 airplanes.
Major airframers and component suppliers have instituted new research programs and initiatives to develop electric propulsion for light aircraft. The consensus among the participating parties is that battery and motor technology offering similar performance and endurance of small piston engines is roughly 10 years away.
L-3 Avionics Systems last month submitted the FAA approval paperwork for its Trilogy ESI-2000 electronic standby instrument. The unit combines attitude, altitude, airspeed and optional heading data on a 3.7-inch LCD screen and includes an integrated air-data computer, solid-state attitude sensors and an optional