American Airlines will firm up 42 orders for the Boeing 787, its 737 MAX order and add two 777 orders upon bankruptcy court approval, according to an SEC filing today.
American’s plans to acquire 75 787s had always been contingent on a new pilot contract–which has come through the bankruptcy process. The MAX orders, placed in July 2011, also were never firmed up due to the bankruptcy filing the next month.
Two new 777 orders were unconnected to the 787 and MAX orders.
From the SEC filing:
Focus on the Boeing 787′s mishap last Monday comes, naturally, on the fire involving the lithium-ion battery. The battery, or Li-ion for short, is considered hazardous in many applications and in air cargo shipping.
Two Boeing 747-400 cargo planes were carrying a large shipment of Li-ions. One for sure–UPS in Doha–crashed after these batteries caught fire. Another, a Korean Air Cargo flight, was carrying a large shipment. The airplane crashed into the ocean and if the cause was traced to these, we haven’t seen it–but the suspicious arose early.
While the 787′s use of Li-ion has attracted headlines, the use in airplane applications is more common than has been recognized.
The Airbus A380 uses lithium batteries to power its emergency lighting system. The US FAA set special conditions when certifying the aircraft. Airbus says “the batteries are small, limited, and are not in a frequently-active charging/discharging function.”
Airbus also has looked at new ways to generate electricity aboard the aircraft itself. The A350 XWB features a new lithium-ion battery that marks a significant improvement on the Cd-Ni unit used in other models.
The battery contains less hazardous material, which makes it safer to handle. Adding to the benefits, it has a higher power and energy density, and low maintenance requirements, all while lasting up to three times longer than the Cd-Ni.
Aviation International News looked at issues surrounding Lit-Ion batteries last October. Acting upon the recommendation of Cessna, the FAA ordered removal of Lit-ion batteries from the CJ4 corporate jet. A couple of other corporate jets have these batteries.
AIN had this story about stricter rules transporting Li-ion batteries, in which the hazards are discussed.
One of our regular readers and commenters notes that “the A350 architecture… has four 28v Li-ion batteries, meaning there are 28 Li-ion cells on-board…, compared with only 14 on the 787…. Clearly a huge cause for concern… unless Airbus designs the A350 to properly manage this known failure mode, which I am sure they have done.”