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True Blue Power® Announces Advanced Lithium-ion Batteries for Business and General Aviation

WICHITA, Kan. — True Blue Power®, a division of Mid-Continent Instrument Co., Inc., today announced the availability of two advanced lithium-ion batteries for business and general aviation applications — the TB17 and TB44. The batteries feature A123 Systems’ Nanophosphate® lithium-ion chemistry to provide unmatched power, energy, safety and life.

"In the lithium battery era, mankind has benefited from the sweeping change of a new technology which empowers dramatic and positive utilization of portable electronics, portable tools, power sources and transportation. It's about time that this benefit was brought to higher utilization in aircraft,” said Todd Winter, president and chief executive officer of Mid-Continent Instrument Company.

The TB17 Advanced Lithium-ion Battery weighs 16 pounds, offering a 45% weight savings compared to older, lead-acid and nickel-cadmium alternatives. It is designed primarily for piston and turbine aircraft. The larger TB44 Advanced Lithium-ion Battery weighs 53 pounds, offering a 40% weight savings. It is ideal for the turbine market, including fixed-wing and rotorcraft applications. The TB44 is expected to be standard equipment on soon-to-be-announced production aircraft.

The TB17 (17 ampere hour) and TB44 (44 ampere hour) batteries’ Nanophosphate lithium-ion cells offer superior energy density, delivering 3 times the energy per kilogram. These next-generation battery systems are engineered to provide an overall lower cost of ownership with 50 – 75 percent less scheduled maintenance cost. This is the result of 2-year maintenance intervals, efficient engine starts and gaining 2 – 3 times longer
useful battery life.

“We have gained invaluable experience and established a solid track record in the development of advanced lithium-ion solutions through our True Blue Power emergency power supplies,” explained Winter. “This field experience and our extensive list of FAA and RTCA certifications have provided the expertise to introduce what will soon become a family of advanced lithium-ion main ship batteries.”

“The advantages offered by Nanophosphate lithium-ion technology over other lithium-ion chemistries are numerous and impressive, but the most significant is undoubtedly safety,” said Rick Slater, True Blue Power division manager. “Nanophosphate lithium-ion is more chemically stable, producing less energetic reactions in the rare event of battery over-temperature or over-voltage.”

In addition to advanced chemistry, the TB17 and TB44 are engineered with several layers of protection. “They’re smart packs,” Slater explained. “Safety is addressed at multiple levels including the chemistry, cell design, pack and battery system packaging, and the integration of sophisticated electronic protection systems into the batteries themselves.” The TB17 and TB44 batteries are designed to monitor and communicate temperature, voltage levels, state of charge and health. The TB44 provides intelligent ARINC 429 communication to the cockpit.

With their superior power, consistent performance, higher levels of energy output and longer useful life, the TB17 and TB44 represent a new generation of reliable aviation batteries utilizing lithium-ion technology. Customer deliveries are expected the fourth quarter of 2013. The TB17 is RTCA DO-311 and DO-160G qualified. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Technical Standard Order (TSO) C179a certification of the TB17 is pending. Certification of the TB44 will be submitted in the fourth quarter.

The TB17 and TB44 will be on display at booth #C10040 throughout The Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (NBAA2013), October 22 to October 24 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev. For more information about the TB17 or TB44 advanced lithium-ion batteries or other True Blue Power products, contact Tom Genovese, Director of Sales, at 316-630-0101 or visit

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