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Boeing Patents Changing Batteries Between Flights

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APRIL 22, 2013: According to NBC News, Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager of the 787 program advised steel reinforcing and added accessories to make the lithium polymer batteries safe in Boeing’s flagship aircraft completely negated the weight of traditional nickel-cadmium batteries.  But Boeing is clearly counting on future innovations in battery technologies.

Boeing Bullish on Batteries

Last month Boeing was granted an extraordinarily broad patent (US8393580) which claims a method of operating an electric aircraft as follows:

  1. flying the aircraft from a first location to a second location, wherein the aircraft comprises …battery pods…;
  2. removing first cargo from the aircraft at the second location;
  3. loading second cargo onto the aircraft at the second location;
  4. removing at least one of the number of battery pods at the second location; and
  5. installing a new number of battery pods at the second location.

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For the purpose of claim interpretation Boeing considers “cargo” to include people. 

The process begins by flying an aircraft from a first location to a second location (operation 1400). This aircraft may be an aircraft such as, for example, aircraft 300 in FIG. 3. The process removes a first cargo from the aircraft at the second location (operation 1402). In these examples, cargo may be, for example, goods and/or people. A second cargo is then loaded onto the aircraft at the second location (operation 1404).

To the chagrin of frequent travelers, airlines share the same view.






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