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World's biggest super-jumbos must be GROUNDED, say engineers
UK Daily Mail ^ | January 9, 2012 | Rob Waugh

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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: a380; airbus; airlinesafety; airplanes; airtravel; aviation
Time will tell if this is a "Nothing to see here moment" but the risk factor is immense.

(admins: headline was shortened to fit).

1 posted on 01/09/2012 8:16:21 AM PST by ConservativeStatement
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To: ConservativeStatement

mark for later


2 posted on 01/09/2012 8:22:21 AM PST by JohnBrowdie (http://forum.stink-eye.net)
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To: ConservativeStatement

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?


3 posted on 01/09/2012 8:29:59 AM PST by Former Proud Canadian (Obamanomics-We don't need your stinking tar sands oil, or the jobs that go with it.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

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.


4 posted on 01/09/2012 8:33:09 AM PST by bossmechanic (If all else fails, hit it with a hammer)
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To: ConservativeStatement

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.


5 posted on 01/09/2012 8:35:34 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

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 [1], 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.


6 posted on 01/09/2012 8:35:34 AM PST by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: ConservativeStatement
I am not an aeronautical engineer, but there is one thing respecially interesting, and curious, about this article.

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.

7 posted on 01/09/2012 8:36:10 AM PST by ken5050 (The ONLY reason to support Mitt: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will appear at the WH each Christmas)
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To: ConservativeStatement
Even if this turns out to be a quick fix it is going to hurt sales. Super jumbo jets are very expensive assets. And having them parked on the runway earning nothing while having to pay the finance charges can bankrupt an airline. And the two big US airlines are already in bankruptcy.

Airbus needs to keep their reputation good. The A-380 is a big ticket item. There was an old joke in the computer industry that nobody ever go fired for buying IBM. The same is true in the aircraft industry, buying Boeing is playing it safe. To encourage risk taking you need to demonstrate quality. Airbus needs to demonstrate that they take this problem seriously. If it looks like they are covering it up, they are going to lose sales. Just look at what happened to McDonald Douglas when the DC-10 got a reputation as a dog.
8 posted on 01/09/2012 8:36:31 AM PST by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

Not to mention the fact that large passenger airplanes are a terrorists’ wet dream.


9 posted on 01/09/2012 8:37:27 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: saganite

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.


10 posted on 01/09/2012 8:39:30 AM PST by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: ConservativeStatement
I am the owner of a single engine Cessna and if I see a crack on the wing during my pre flight inspection I'll ground my airplane myself until the crack is repaired. Only a fool would do otherwise.
11 posted on 01/09/2012 8:43:02 AM PST by mosaicwolf (Strength and Honor)
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To: ken5050

I remember that Hawaiian flight. IIRC, it had over 80,000 takeoffs and landings under it.


12 posted on 01/09/2012 8:43:26 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
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.

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.

13 posted on 01/09/2012 8:45:47 AM PST by 6ppc (It's torch and pitchfork time)
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To: ConservativeStatement
With all due respect:

"'We confirm that cracks were found on non-critical wing attachments..."

Does not leave me wanting to go for a ride.

14 posted on 01/09/2012 8:47:25 AM PST by norton
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To: ken5050

Was that the Aloha Airlines flight?

A link to Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloha_Airlines_Flight_243


15 posted on 01/09/2012 8:47:53 AM PST by ConservativeStatement (Obama "acted stupidly.")
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To: ConservativeStatement

“Europeans” Never could make an Airplane that was WORTH a CRAP, see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Comet AND
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BOAC_Flight_781


16 posted on 01/09/2012 8:48:32 AM PST by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: saganite
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.

Thas OK. We don't consider train drivers to be qualified railroad engineers, so it balances out

17 posted on 01/09/2012 8:53:47 AM PST by Oztrich Boy (Whatever happened to that Amy Summerland sailing chick?)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
the cracks are in non-critical areas.

The wings are non-critical?

ML/NJ

18 posted on 01/09/2012 9:00:26 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: ConservativeStatement

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.


19 posted on 01/09/2012 9:02:59 AM PST by Article10 (Roger That)
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To: ConservativeStatement

When a wing falls off and one of these behemoths crashes with five hundred souls-on-board, then they’ll be grounded.


20 posted on 01/09/2012 9:26:31 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: ConservativeStatement

When a wing falls off and one of these behemoths crashes with five hundred souls-on-board, then they’ll be grounded.


21 posted on 01/09/2012 9:26:31 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: 6ppc

If the metal is not heat treated properly, or the bend radius was too tight, or any number of other manufacturing defects, it could crack with no load on them. You do not need an external load to cause a crack. All it would take is time.

That kind of stuff cannot be seen or tested for. If it is happening to “non-critical” parts, I would be taking a hard look at how the critical parts were manufactured.


22 posted on 01/09/2012 9:42:06 AM PST by jim_trent
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To: ConservativeStatement

It’s not the cracks they know about that are the problem. I have a 1968 Baron that has a crack near the wing spar that is stop drilled and monitored. It hasn’t changed in 10+ years. It’s the cracks they haven’t noticed yet. The accident reports refer to these as previously undiscovered cracks...


23 posted on 01/09/2012 10:06:15 AM PST by PilotDave (No, really, you just can't make this stuff up!!!)
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To: GonzoGOP

“Just look at what happened to McDonald Douglas when the DC-10 got a reputation as a dog. “

The DC-10 began to go downhill when one dropped an engine in Chicago on takeoff and crashed. Then they had the Kansas City crash where the tail engine blew up and severed most of the flight controls. It landed in a manner of speaking but a number of the passengers were killed. Like someone else posted, stick with Boeing.


24 posted on 01/09/2012 10:39:36 AM PST by vette6387 (Enough Already!)
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To: ken5050
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.

It doesn't sound like the pressurization/depressurization cycle is an issue here, since wings don't get pressurized. We don't know if the cracked parts compromise the structural integrity of the A/C or what caused the cracking in the first place (Fatigue caused by flex due to wing loading/unloading? Vibration of the Engines? Unforeseen Aerodynamic forces, like clear air turbulence?)

My point is that the number of landing cycles may not apply here.

25 posted on 01/09/2012 10:54:07 AM PST by ZOOKER ( Exploring the fine line between cynicism and outright depression)
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To: ConservativeStatement

Let’s not beat down the A380. It is an amazing airplane and, as long as you don’t fly it into turbulence, you’ll be fine. Of course if you do fly it into turbulence, those little, puny, cracks might just grow...


26 posted on 01/09/2012 7:04:19 PM PST by BobL ("Heartless" and "Inhumane" FReepers for Cain - we've HAD ENOUGH)
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To: GonzoGOP
" Even if this turns out to be a quick fix it is going to hurt sales "

Yes, a big public relations problem and will hurt sales even if it's a simple fix, unless it's a wing spar, wing root, or wing box crack.
Did they use a known aluminum alloy to machine faster and save cost and time ? who knows.
Will this hurt their sales, perhaps, and maybe the 747-8I will benefit from this in the short term with some airlines who were getting ready to order some A-380s, or airlines who were just getting in the market to buy some new planes.
Perhaps with this A-380 problem with the wings, and yes folks, this is what the public will see in this problem inspite of the engineers explaining the situation, the public will see and think " the Airbus A-380 has major problems with the wings, ain't going to fly on that plane " ...
Yes, perhaps ? might see a spike in sales for the 747-8I in the short term because those airlines will still have to find planes.
27 posted on 01/09/2012 7:27:04 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: Article10
" 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. "

Yes, your right, but, the general public won't see it that way .... this is a public relations/reputation problem for Airbus ...
28 posted on 01/09/2012 7:29:02 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: BobL
The 747 is a known quantity, the engineers have known for over 40 years what the 747 stresses are, and the wings were tested even way back in 1968 with a static test plane by bending the wings until they broke and said that the wings of the 747 can handle more than what it will ever see in service.
Will Airbus get this problem fixed in the short term ? maybe, maybe not, if it's a wing spar, or wing root, or wing box, then they got major problems.
29 posted on 01/09/2012 7:42:09 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: ZOOKER
" My point is that the number of landing cycles may not apply here. "

Correct, however ? it does matter when the wing takes stresses when it's put under load in lift when rotation ( rotation means when the plane untouches the ground and get's lift, for those who are not familiar with plane terminology ).
It does depend on how many times the wings are flexed and put under load and stress on each fight.
30 posted on 01/09/2012 7:47:21 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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