Boeing stands by lithium-ion batteries

(AFP) - United States (US) aerospace giant Boeing said on Friday it will continue to use lithium-ion batteries, despite rival Airbus saying it would avoid them following two incidents on the Boeing 787.

"Boeing is confident in the safety and reliability of lithium-ion batteries," said Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel.

"Our years of experience and deep expertise confirm that, like other technologies, when the appropriate battery, system and airplane protections are in place, lithium-ion batteries deliver significant benefits," Mr Birtel said.

Boeing's 787 Dreamliners were grounded indefinitely worldwide in January after battery smoke forced an emergency landing of one plane and a battery fire was reported on a parked plane.

US air safety investigators have yet to determine what caused a short circuit in a single cell on the eight-cell lithium-ion battery in a Japan Airlines 787 at Boston's Logan airport on Jan 7, apparently leading to the fire.

Boeing competitor Airbus plans to avoid using lithium-ion batteries in the A350 long-range liner under development, a company source told Agence France-Presse on Friday.

"The first planes will be delivered with cadmium, not lithium batteries," the source said, adding that the airliner's first test flights will nevertheless take place with lithium-ion batteries.

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