NEW YORK–Airbus said Thursday it is dropping lithium-ion batteries from its new A350 airplane because of uncertainty surrounding the technology that has led to the grounding of Boeing’s 787.
The European plane maker said it has decided to revert to conventional nickel-cadmium batteries for the A350. The plane is a wide-body long-range jet rival to the 787 and is expected to make its first flight around the middle of the year.
Airbus says it does not expect the battery switch to lead to a setback in the A350’s schedule.
“Airbus considers this to be the most appropriate way forward in the interest of program execution and A350 XWB reliability,” spokeswoman Mary Anne Greczyn said.
Federal officials grounded the 787 last month because of problems with its lithium-ion batteries that caused one fire and forced another plane to make an emergency landing.