As U.S. National Transportation Safety Board investigators continued their painstaking examination of the lithium-ion battery that caught fire on February 7 in a Japan Airlines Boeing 787, the airplane’s manufacturer projected a business-as-usual posture during its fourth-quarter earnings call last Wednesday.
The subject of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries took on urgent new meaning following two thermal runaway incidents with lithium-ion batteries installed in Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. A lot of information—and misinformation—surrounds lithium-ion technology, and experts from all over are weighing in with their opinions.
The Cessna Citation CJ4 is currently the only business jet certified with (but no longer flying with) a lithium-ion main-ship battery, using lithium-iron phosphate, not the lithium-cobalt oxide battery found on the Boeing 787, which is currently grounded in the wake of battery fires.
Investigations of separate incidents involving Boeing 787s in the U.S. and Japan appear to concur that the batteries that burned in each case did not overcharge. But investigators continue to seek causes for the two incidents that led to the grounding of the worldwide 787 fleet. The probes remain focused on the eight-cell lithium-ion batteries manufactured by Japan’s GS Yuasa for Thales, which supplies the 787’s electrical power conversion system.
The damaged lithium-ion APU battery from the Japan Air Lines Boeing 787 that caught fire on January 7 while parked at Boston’s Logan Airport experienced an uncontrolled chemical reaction known as a “thermal runway” and short circuiting, but the cause and sequence of these events are still unknown, according to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Data from the flight recorder retrieved from the Japan Air Lines Boeing 787 that caught fire on January 7 while parked at Boston Logan International Airport shows that the airplane’s APU battery did not charge beyond its design limit of 32 volts, according to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.
Airlines around the world have grounded their Boeing 787s following the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Wednesday emergency airworthiness directive (AD) that requires United Airlines to stop flying its six Dreamliners until it demonstrates the safety of the airplanes’ batt
An agreement has been signed between business aviation MRO provider Duncan Aviation (Booth No. 5580) and battery maker EaglePicher Technologies whereby the Nebraska-based Duncan will now provide maintenance for the manufacturer’s line of lithium-ion aircraft batteries. “We were searching for a strategic partner to provide the most comprehensive service and support for our aircraft batteries and we believe Duncan Aviation fits this profile quite well,” said Ron Nowlin, vice president and general manager for aerospace systems at Missouri-based EaglePicher (Booth No. 3740).
Ship It AOG, the Addison, Texas-based international parts distribution company, will offer visitors to Booth No. 682 an opportunity to see the new Fire-Fighter and the Fire-Fighter II fire-containment bags. The bags are designed to provide inflight containment for lithium-ion battery-operated devices in the event of a thermal runaway of the battery packs.
Sometime in 2011 (we can’t be sure when), an airport worker hooked up an energized ground-power unit to a Cessna Citation CJ4 (525C), according to the FAA. The CJ4 was the first business jet certified with a lithium-ion main-ship battery.