The Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA) urged the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in a January 12 letter to promptly complete its review of pending rules designed to bring the U.S. into compliance with ICAO on methods of transporting lithium batteries aboard civil aircraft. Citing the prohibition of lithium batteries aboard passenger aircraft, the PRBA said it sees no reason why the government should delay rule harmonization any longer.
On Monday at Heli-Expo, AgustaWestland revealed that it has been secretly flying an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing demonstration aircraft powered by twin-electric, direct-drive tiltrotors. The “Project Zero” tiltrotor was designed and built in six months by the company’s advanced concepts group and has been flying since 2011. It features elevons for pitch and roll control and in forward flight, a V-tail for longitudinal stability, and a lifting body design with two integrated tiltrotors than can be tilted through 90 degrees.
For those who have tried to balance a piece of luggage the size of a Prius on the bathroom scale before heading off to the airport, there’s a solution from Tool Testing Lab: the GripScale.
According to the company the scale is ideal for the business aviation industry, where weight-and-balance calculations are sometimes critical and not easily calculated. Tool Testing has certified the digital scale to NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) requirements and is an aviation distributor for the item’s manufacturer, eBags of Denver.
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 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.
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.
The FAA yesterday issued a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) regarding procedures for fighting fires caused by lithium batteries in portable electronic devices.
The FAA is sifting through public comments related to a draft policy memo issued in February that warns of potential safety hazards associated with the rechargeable lithium batteries in electronic flight bag (EFB) portable computers.
An FAA policy memo issued last month highlights the potential safety hazards associated with the rechargeable lithium batteries in electronic flight bag (EFB) portable computers. The memo requires Class 1 and 2 EFB users to test onboard battery charging to RTCA/DO-311 standards or add placards stating that no equipment containing rechargeable lithium batteries may be connected to aircraft electrical power.
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