Skip to comments.World's biggest super-jumbos must be GROUNDED, say engineers
Posted on 01/09/2012 8:16:16 AM PST by ConservativeStatement
Australian aircraft engineers have called for Airbus A380 - the world's biggest passenger aircraft - to be grounded, after Singapore Airlines and Qantas found cracks in the wings of their super-jumbos.
'We can't continue to gamble with people's lives and allow those aircraft to fly around and hope that they make it until their four-yearly inspection,' said Steve Purvinas, secretary of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
(admins: headline was shortened to fit).
mark for later
There is so much riding on this aircraft. If there is a systemic design or manufacturing flaw Airbus itself is in a lot of trouble. And there goes EADS. And where does that leave Germany? France? Spain? Italy? Black swan anyone?
Maybe there is no danger whatsoever. Mayby the failing component is only there as a wire guide or accessory bracket - the stories aren’t all that specific.
However, the component was not designed to crack. The drawings don’t specify cracks. Unexpected forces caused the component to fail. Until this little engineering oversight is analyzed, I wouldn’t be too flip about discounting a real issue.
From what I have read, the cracks are in non-critical areas. But still, they ae only a couple of years old and should have zero cracks.
The Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association is an Australian employee organisation (effectively a trade union) which is registered with the Australian Industrial Relations Commission and affiliated with the Australian Council of Trade Unions. ALAEA is not affiliated with an Australian political party, but maintains industrial affiliations with the NSW Labor Council and the International Transport Workers’ Federation. ALAEA was formed in 1964. It sees its own function as a professional association, which puts it within the services model of union organisation. ALAEA does not describe itself as a trade union, or organisation of workers.
The Australian Trade Union Archives claim that ALAEA’s current membership is in excess of 3000 members. The ALAEA claims to have in excess of 4000 members and in its most recent annual return claimed to have 4085 members as of 1 January 2005 , although this date could have been a typographical error (and should have been 1 January 2006) as the previous year’s annual return also referred to the same date. ALAEA’s membership coverage is for licenced aircraft maintenance engineers, aircraft maintenance engineers, technical and engineering support staff.
ALAEA’s journal is called e-Torque, and is available from their website. The employer it has most of its dealings with is Qantas.
Aircraft maintenance cycles are based upon hours flown, as opposed to mileage. Quantas and Singapore Airlines, due to their countries of origin, operate about the longest flight routes in the industry. Therefore, while a Quantas plane may have the same number of flight hours as say, one from Emirates, the Quantas plane probably has a significantly LESSER number of evolutions ( a take off and a landing ) As these are generally the causes of greatest stress on the airframe, it stands to reason that other 380s have an even greater probability of metal fatigue/stress.
If you remember the Hawaiin Airlines palne years ago that lost the top of the passenger cabin in mid air..it peeled back like a can of sardines...it was later determined that because the airline operated mainly short hops between the islands, the plane in question had THREE time the number of flight evolutions as the average similar airframe with the same number of flight hours.
Not to mention the fact that large passenger airplanes are a terrorists’ wet dream.
Just so everyone understands, what we call aircraft mechanics in the US are called engineers overseas. Don’t confuse this organization with engineers with degrees in electrical, mechanical, aerospace etc etc. I’m not saying they are wrong but they aren’t engineers as we understand the term.
I remember that Hawaiian flight. IIRC, it had over 80,000 takeoffs and landings under it.
If the area is non-critical then why is it receiving enough stress to cause the cracks? Seems to me that non-critical areas should receive little to no stress. If an area is receiving any stress how can it be non-critical?
Just don't buy it.
"'We confirm that cracks were found on non-critical wing attachments..."
Does not leave me wanting to go for a ride.
Was that the Aloha Airlines flight?
A link to Wikipedia:
Thas OK. We don't consider train drivers to be qualified railroad engineers, so it balances out
The wings are non-critical?
AIRBUS designs a damage tolerant system of structures. The entire airplane is way more flexiable with the cracks being taken into account vs treating every crack as a massive failure.
Many Airworthiness Directives (AD’s) from AIRBUS in the EU system allow for the cracks to fly for years prior to fixing them. The US systems denies cracks exsist and when they do show up the airplane is downed or given an exemption to fly on.... the US system is eye wash to protect the FAA and others in the event a problem occurs, the EU way of looking as crack is way more realistic, they happen and design a system to handle them and repair them when necessary
I say this as a former structural engineer on a fleet of airbuss, boeing 727’s, MD-11’s, DC-10’s etc... been there done all of that on many large airframes, US passengers would cr@p if they only knew what they are flying or what is flying overhead every minuete of the day. Still realitively safe, a testiment to the design engineers, not the FAA or the operators.
When a wing falls off and one of these behemoths crashes with five hundred souls-on-board, then they’ll be grounded.