A380 Wing Cracks Discovered on Qantas and Singapore Aircraft

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Lufthansa Flyer, Jan 5, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Lufthansa Flyer
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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    "The newspaper said the first crack, barely visible to the human eye, was spotted on a Qantas A380 undergoing a USD$130 million repair job in Singapore after a 2010 engine blowout."

    That seems a rather costly repair...
     
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  3. Efilon87

    Efilon87 Silver Member

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    Oh my....It seems there is more and more problems with the A380 each day. I know the cracks barely visible to the human eye, but that just means pilots should do more extensive pre-flight inspections. Im just glad they found this on the ground and not 35,000 feet in the air.
     
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  4. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    Its amazing how apparently "cracks" in airplanes are normal. When the southwest jet had the hole pop in the fuselage of its 737 they found cracks on a few other planes and although they were fixed, its apparently a "normal" occurrence.

    I have a friend that works for a company that does independent verification's of airplane parts for cracks or other anomalies either during the fabrication process of after a repair. He recently refused a cowling cover for a jet engine because of a microscopic crack. It came back a few weeks later for re-inspection, the crack was still there, including the red markings to identify it. The repair had consisted of drilling two holes at the end of the crack to stop it from spreading. The crack was apparently considered "normal" and they just wanted to make sure that the crack did not extend past the two drilled holes.

    Don't watch Mayday before flying :cool:
     
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  5. NYCAdventurer

    NYCAdventurer Gold Member

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    Kind of scary but at least the necessary parties are on top of the problem. Love the A380 and still want to fly on it again!
     
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  6. nova

    nova Silver Member

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    It's ridiculously expensive to repair aircraft, especially when you're talking primary structure. Can't provide detail but I'm an aero engineer providing continuing engineering support for several different aircraft platforms. I was recently working an issue on a Cessna Citation Ultra where maintenance personnel let a drill bit "walk" on them and elongate the holes as they were removing rivets to replace a window.

    Final time/cost to repair 9 elongated rivet holes, 1800 man hours and $200k and that's a relatively small airplane that doesn't require much specialty equipment. Can't imagine what it takes on a beast like the A380...
     
  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Wow! That's 225 eight-hour work days!
     
  8. nova

    nova Silver Member

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    Yep. Their estimate was an 8 man team working for just under a month. And really it's not that surprising since the pressure vessel was compromised enough to require the fuselage skin section be replaced. That's the next best thing to building an airplane from scratch....
     
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  9. Lufthansa Flyer
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    I wonder what the insurance company things about the claim! :) though I dont think thats going to be the case here.
     
  10. ACMM
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    That is what you get for putting wings on a whale ;)
     
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  11. Efilon87

    Efilon87 Silver Member

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    I love that show. I think it has ruined me for flying though...
     
  12. TAHKUCT
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    I hope all of the A380 will get an extensive inspection of their body and wings. If one got it, there is a chance another one might also have it.
     
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  13. Lufthansa Flyer
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    glad to see the LH editions of the 380 getting through without much difficulty with issues.......
     
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  14. kiwi
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    Perhaps they hadn't been checked yet when the story broke? In any case they are newer than SQ & QF thus less time to develop any cracks.
     
  15. mattsteg
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    As long as you get rid of the stress concentrations at the ends of cracks, they become much, much less of a threat.

    Still the A380 seems rather young to have these issues.
     
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  16. Lufthansa Flyer
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    thats true....perhaps its the "appropriate" sgt. Schultz strategy from Hogan's Heroes.......I know nothing, I see nothing, I say nothing!

    but I doubt it! :)
     
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  17. Lufthansa Flyer
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    wouldnt you usually drill a hole at the end of a crack to prevent its spreading? then a little bondo and touch up paint and bammo, good as new! :)
     
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  18. FlyIce

    FlyIce Silver Member

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    The cost of the repair is for the engine blowout that generateed a really severe damage the airplane.
    A new A380 costs more than the double of that repair.

    I've an A380 flight (my 6th on the 4th different airline) in 10 days and I'm not scared at all by this news.
     
  19. Lufthansa Flyer
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  20. TAHKUCT
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    Exactly!
     
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  21. TAHKUCT
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  22. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    Sure! But being at 35,000 feet disturbs me a little more than being in an aluminum fishing boat on the lake. Even if its an approved repair lol.
     
  23. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Yes, I know the cost was for the engine issue, not for the cracks.

    Hopefully more than half the aircraft was left unaffected by the engine blowout :)
     
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  24. NYBanker
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    What do you mean by this? You think this would be an excluded event under their policies?

    The damage caused by this sort of thing would typically be covered. The syndicate of insurers will chase the manufacturer of the engine.
     
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  25. Lufthansa Flyer
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    I suspect that Rolls Royce and her insurers would be on the hook. Unless they can prove qantas negligence, Seems like it would be down between airbus and rolls for liability.
     
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