The Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) has concluded in a draft report that extreme cold most likely caused a lithium-ion battery on an All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 to malfunction in January 2013, The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported. The board plans to release a final report in September or later.
Bombardier Aerospace recently completed a non-temperature-restricted bleedless auxiliary power unit starting test, following a 10-hour cold soak at -40 degrees F and using a starter/generation system and lithium-ion battery system. The Safran Microturbo e-APU system included a starter generator and power electronics from Thales and a Saft Li-ion battery system. The prototype equipment was designed for business jets, Bombardier said. The tests were conducted at the Safran Turbomeca cold-chamber facility in Pau, France.
The Airbus-led effort to develop viable electrically powered aircraft was boosted by the first public flight of the first E-Fan aircraft on April 25. The first of the two- and four-seat E-Fan light training aircraft are due to enter service by the end of 2017, but the wider success of the program–which eventually hopes to prove the case for electrically powered regional airliners–is contingent on its developers achieving further technology breakthroughs in harnessing the new power source.
The corporate and business aviation sectors have posted strong safety numbers, recording few accidents, but that is no reason for operators to become complacent. That was the message from NTSB member Robert Sumwalt at the Flight Safety Foundation/NBAA annual Business Aviation Safety Summit (Bass), held in late April in San Diego.
The National Transportation Safety Board on May 22 issued five safety recommendations to the FAA related to the evaluation and certification of lithium-ion batteries, as well as the certification of new technology. The recommendations evolved through the ongoing investigation of a Jan. 7, 2013, lithium-ion battery fire aboard a Boeing 787 parked at Boston Logan Airport.
Another incident involving the main lithium-ion battery in a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 just prior to its scheduled departure from Tokyo on Tuesday has prompted an internal investigation at JAL, raising new questions about the integrity of a system redesign devised to mitigate the possibility of fire propagation.
Although in-flight fires originating in personal electronic devices are relatively rare, they often attract a good deal of attention and motivate operators to be prepared for the possibility. With that in mind, Industrial Energy Products (IEP) has been offering a growing array of fire-containment bags to the business aviation industry since 2009.
On September 26, Aircare Solutions Group (Booth No. N1736) held a grand opening for its new emergency procedures training facility in Long Beach, Calif. The new facility is equipped with Aircare’s Facts VIII full-motion cabin simulator, the company’s largest, as well as hypoxia awareness trainers, a walk-in fire trainer and BBJ slide and exits.
Mid-Continent Instrument’s True Blue Power division introduced two new lithium-ion main-ship batteries yesterday, designed for jets, turboprops, piston airplanes and helicopters. The new 28-volt batteries come in two sizes: the TB44 (44 ampere hours) and TB17 (17 ampere hours), and can be seen at Mid-Continent’s NBAA exhibit (Booth No. C10040). These new batteries, which will be certified and ready for deliveries in the fourth quarter this year, are first being offered to aircraft manufacturers and not yet to the aftermarket.
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) hopes that testing the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is conducting will identify a limit for the number of lithium batteries that can be safely transported by cargo aircraft.
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