Q&A on the News

Q: Had Boeing chosen all nickel-cadmium batteries instead of lithium-ion batteries for its 787 Dreamliner, how much additional weight would have been added to the plane?

—Del Winn, Alpharetta

A: One nickel-metal hydride battery weighs about 100 pounds, or about 40 pounds more than a lithium-ion battery, Donald Sadoway, a battery expert and materials chemistry professor at MIT, told Q&A on the News in an email. There are two lithium ion batteries — one for power backup and one for engine ignition — on every 787 Dreamliner, Sadoway said. “That means a difference of about 40 pounds per battery, which is less than the luggage allowance for a single passenger,” Sadoway wrote. He wrote that nickel-metal hydride batteries are used in the Toyota Prius. All 50 of Boeing’s 787s were grounded earlier this month during an investigation to find out why lithium-ion batteries failed on two planes. One caused a fire on a 787 and damage to another that forced an emergency landing.

Q: Now that baseball season is just around the corner, are Don Sutton and Jim Powell returning to do the radio play-by-play for the Atlanta Braves this year? They are very entertaining and have a good banter.

—John Anthony Ricci, Tallapoosa

A: Sutton and Powell are returning for their fifth season together, Powell told Q&A on the News via a Twitter message. Powell wrote that the first spring broadcast is Feb. 22, when the Braves play the American League champion Detroit Tigers at 1:05 p.m.

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).

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