Avionics News February 2021 - 33

Airframes still dominated by lead-acid
battery tech, but accessories increasingly go
with lithium-ion battery tech

I

disturbing news. But none of these newer issues involved maint's been seven years since True Blue Power, a division
ship batteries installed as part of aircraft electrical systems.
of Mid-Continent Instrument Co., Inc., unveiled the
Instead, lithium-ion batteries in checked and carry-on
first lithium-ion battery aimed at the main-ship battery
luggage, many as spares, drew new constraints on carriage in
market for commercial- and general-aviation airframes. The
the cargo holds of airliners and in carry-on bags. Even personal
line and company first showed up with this new product in
electronics devices such as cellphones, tablets and notebook
October 2013 at that year's convention of the National Business
computers - all with lithium-ion
Aviation Association in Las Vegas. The
batteries - suffered safety-threatening
introduction was met with a host of
MANY OTHER FORMS
failures that prompted new constraints.
questions and doubts, the piqued interest
OF LITHIUM-ION
The FAA-ordered changes nonetheless
exacerbated by the then-recent news of
allowed these power sources to continue
potentially catastrophic failures of lithiumBATTERY TECHNOLOGY SHARE
flying - as long as passengers observed
ion batteries in the then-brand-new Boeing
MOST OF THE SAME BENEFITS
787 Dreamliner.
required safety measures.
OF THE AIRCRAFT-APPROVED
Todd Winter, True Blue Power's chief
Ironically, lithium-ion batteries began
BATTERIES FROM TRUE BLUE
executive officer, and his staff fully
to proliferate in avionics stacks as
POWER. IT'S THESE VERY
anticipated the questions and doubts,
standby power sources for a variety of
ADVANTAGES THAT HELPED
responding with a series of more than a
devices, and avionics makers - MidDRIVE THE SHIFT TO LITHIUMdozen safety seminars and educational
Continent Instruments and Avionics
ION
TECHNOLOGIES
AND
outreach efforts structured to counter
among them - began offering USB
AWAY FROM NICAD, NICKELthe concerns. At the core of True Blue
charging devices for installation in
Power's efforts was both explanation and
aircraft panels. True Blue Power has
METAL HYDRIDE, AND
demonstrations of why the problems with
already won approval for a backup
OTHER AVAILABLE BATTERY
battery - lithium-ion - to power panelthe Boeing batteries could not happen with
TECHNOLOGIES.
installed components. And the main
the cell technology employed in True Blue
users of these handy peripherals? Pilots
Power's two new battery sets: the TB17 and
TB44 batteries.
and passengers in need of a recharge for their lithium-ionIn relatively short order, True Blue Power and individual
powered PEDs - cellphones, tablets and notebook computers.
customer companies earned a batch of supplemental type
Meanwhile, aircraft owners and operators live with a limited
array of battery options for their aircraft, with True Blue
certificates approving the use of the two battery models in both
transport-category and general-aviation aircraft. Along the way,
Continued on following page
lithium-ion batteries in aircraft became the source of more

"

avionics news

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february

2021

33



Avionics News February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News February 2021

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Avionics News February 2021 - Intro
Avionics News February 2021 - No label
Avionics News February 2021 - Cover2
Avionics News February 2021 - 1
Avionics News February 2021 - 2
Avionics News February 2021 - 3
Avionics News February 2021 - 4
Avionics News February 2021 - 5
Avionics News February 2021 - 6
Avionics News February 2021 - 7
Avionics News February 2021 - 8
Avionics News February 2021 - 9
Avionics News February 2021 - 10
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Avionics News February 2021 - 30
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Avionics News February 2021 - 33
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Avionics News February 2021 - 72
Avionics News February 2021 - Cover3
Avionics News February 2021 - Cover4
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