An FAA policy memo issued last week highlights the potential safety hazards associated with the rechargeable lithium batteries in electronic flight bag (EFB) portable computers.
Lithium batteries, as used in cellphones, laptops and other electronic equipment, have been in the news recently, as airlines have severely limited their carriage on aircraft due to the hazard of fire. So it might not seem an opportune time to begin marketing a lithium battery designed to replace nicad and lead-acid aircraft batteries.
A fuel-cell-powered electric airplane is the goal of Worcester, Mass.-based Advanced Technology Products and its nonprofit arm, the Foundation for Advancing Science and Technology Education. At Oshkosh, ATP announced its receipt of a $400,000 NASA grant to develop a fuel cell and exhibited a modified DynAero Lafayette III, built and donated by American Ghiles Aircraft of Deland, Fla. The airplane is being developed in three phases.
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.
The FAA has approved eight valve-regulated sealed lead acid batteries
under Technical Standard Order C173 for Concorde Battery.
The TSO-approved models are Concorde’s RG-121 Series and RG-122 Series, emergency batteries for lighting, standby, avionics, fadec and backup power. Parts conforming to TSO C173 are approved for design and production.
New regulations limiting–and in some cases prohibiting–the transport of certain types of batteries on passenger aircraft are directed at the airlines, but business jet operators throughout the U.S. are addressing the issue with similar policies and recommendations following an increase in the number of aviation incidents involving overheated batteries and battery-powered devices.
Securaplane recently announced that CRS Jet Spares, a Securaplane mainship and emergency battery line distributor, has sold its 20,000th mainship battery. Securaplane emergency battery systems use Hawker sealed lead acid batteries instead of nicads and are either original or approved replacement equipment for most business jets.
The Hawker 43Ah steel case, sealed lead-acid battery has been STC’d for installation in the Embraer Brasilia. The unit was developed as a replacement for the factory-installed SAFT 4076-9 and 4078-10. It is already in use on the Bandeirante, Twin Otter and Dash 8.
Securaplane Technologies of Tucson, Ariz., has announced the availability of a sealed lead-acid battery for Gulfstream IIIs and IVs and Falcon 2000/2000EXs. The EnerSys Hawker battery is a direct replacement for the Ni-Cad battery and does not require any modification to the existing charger or battery-temperature system on the aircraft.
The FAA extended the deadline from this April 12 to April 30 next year for Part 121 regional and major airlines to equip automated external defibrillators (AED) with approved batteries. Despite several years’ notice, Phillips Medical, the primary manufacturer of AEDs for airliners, only recently applied for TSO C142 approval for its batteries.