Airbus A380 wing repairs could take up to eight weeks

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by rwoman, Jun 11, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    BBC: Airbus A380 wing repairs could take up to eight weeks

    While it may be perfectly safe, am I the only one who'd prefer there NOT be a crack in the wing??

    Previous discussion specific to QF and SQ from earlier this year: LINK
     
  2. SOLTATIO

    SOLTATIO Silver Member

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    You are definitely not the only one. I'd love to take my first flight on an A380, but if that's the reputation I have to go on, I'll just stick it out for a Dreamliner thank you very much. ;)
     
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  3. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    My first A380 flight was before the crack issue came about. ;)
     
  4. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Airbus also used to claim that A330's were pilot-proof. :oops:
     
  5. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    While many concentrate on the negative side of the A380 right now, I look which technological feast the aircraft is and hope that in time everything works out for the plane, the Queen of the skies. We haven't had the opportunity to fly it yet, but hope to do so in the future.:)
     
  6. jetsetboy

    jetsetboy Silver Member

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    I'm taking my first A380 flight in the Fall, and hope this issue truly doesn't affect the safety of the plane. Regardless of how safe they say it is, hearing about "cracks in the wing" just doesn't inspire confidence, especially after the engine problems they've had.
     
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  7. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Safety first of course, but there will always be a certain risk to innovation, when people do not overcome the risk, there will be no innovation. Glad you have the opportunity to get on the plane in the Fall.:)
     
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  8. jetsetboy

    jetsetboy Silver Member

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    True, and it's not going to stop me from flying it. ;) It's just a little weird how Airbus' response comes across as a little nonchalant, especially when they know that this problem sounds absolutely terrible. Regarding this flight, I used DL miles (yeaaa Skypesos) to book AF biz class on the A380. Still can't believe they decided to go with an angled flat seat on such a state-of-the-art aircraft!:mad:
     
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  9. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Glad it does not deter you from flying the A380!:) Regarding on how Airbus handled their response with the media and through it, yes, it can be seen as nonchalant, but as always it's a two way strategy they have taken, one, which shows concern and do the necessary repairs on the A380 and keep in the background, on the other side of the coin they must always look to the competition, namely Boeing to not give too much away towards them in terms of bad Airbus publicity, this of course hinders the company to give a very clear message to passengers that everything is being done to make the aircraft safe. So it's more difficult in the overall handling of this case then which meets the casual eye right now. It's all about being seen that the A380 works, that Airbus has a success with a safe and reliable plane, but still give not too much away to competitors and this lets the public often out of the equation, despite the public will be the ultimative judge on the success of the A380.

    IMHO, Sky Pesos well used. Report back on your A380 business class adventure on MP!:) PS....as with the AF angled seats on offer in biz, that's always the give and take part between innovation of a new aircraft and using available resources to make the plane viable for the airline.;)
     
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  10. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    I just had my first a380 flight a couple of weeks back, also air france via skypesos (which are on a knife edge, but not nearly as devalued as people would have you believe)
     
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  11. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    The Dreamliners will have teething pains too. I think the A380 is quite safe to fly and fly it whenever I can do so. Every new airplane ever introduced has had problems, some of them quite dramatic, but since the infamous DeHaviland Comets of the early 1950's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Comet the failures have not been so dramatic.

    Here is the Boeing 737 list, all 616 of then, including numerous ones about skin delamination:
    http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAD.nsf/MainFrame?OpenFrameSet

    We could list many others on every aircraft. They all sound horrible and some, if not complied with, can cause catastrophic failures.

    The A380 wing root issue is serious, of course, but it will not cause aircraft to fall from the skies. It just is causing Airbus a fortune to fix.

    Here is a brand new one:
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
    Federal Aviation Administration
    14 CFR Part 39
    [Docket No. FAA-2011-1259; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-181-AD; Amendment 39-17059;
    AD 2012-10-10]
    RIN 2120-AA64
    Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes
    AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
    ACTION: Final rule.
    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
    SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company
    Model 777 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of corrosion damage on the outer diameter
    chrome surface of the horizontal stabilizer pivot pins. Micro-cracks in the chrome plating of the pivot
    pin, some of which extended into the base metal, were also reported. This condition, if not corrected,
    could result in a fractured horizontal stabilizer pivot pin. This AD requires replacing the existing
    horizontal stabilizer pivot pins with new or reworked pivot pins having improved corrosion
    resistance, doing repetitive inspections after installing the pivot pins, and doing corrective actions if
    necessary. We are issuing this AD to prevent a fractured horizontal stabilizer pivot pin, which may
    cause excessive horizontal stabilizer freeplay and structural damage significant enough to result in
    loss of control of the airplane.
    DATES: This AD is effective June 29, 2012.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain
    publication listed in the AD as of June 29, 2012.

    Reading this gives the idea that 777's are about to fall from the sky because fo a corroding horizontal stabilizer pivot pin. If so why is it only effective June 29? Because it is not making aircraft fall form the skies, that's why. It does require action to prevent that from happening sometime in the future.

    So... on every aircraft these exist. When the press finds them or one causes an inflight change of plans there is wild exaggeration, made more so by partisan comments.

    Just last week there were wildeyed reports of a low fuel emergency in an EK A380 that diverted from Toronto to Ottawa. In fact they'd been in a weather hold because of wind shear at Toronto and diverted along with most other airliners that were waiting to land. Standard procedure calls for declaring an emergency in such situations to avoid having a situation that would be an emergency.

    The A380 wing problems are like that. They do need to be fixed, but the aircraft can continue flying safely. One need not overreact.

    Please remember this when the first breathless announcement of a critical fault in the B787 comes. It will almost certainly be another thing that is an easy target for overreaction.
     
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  12. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Thanks for this reminder and perspective on the issue!
     
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  13. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    Typically, crack is better when it's in the Y cabin :eek: [although I prefer beer]

     
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  14. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    You're welcome. Even so, this issue has cost Airbus Euro250mm so far plus lost revenue for airlines. This and the three year delays in B787 production which raised Boeing's breakeven to about 1100 aircraft plus the Airbus A380 and A350 delays which raised the ante considerably on those aircraft all give a similar lesson: The huge technical and supply-chain complexity in new generation aircraft is creating massive challenges that are not yet being adequately resolved. Even derivatives such as the B747-8, the B737MAX and A320NEO are presenting serious technical challenges. For the B737MAX there is the ancillary issue that the 1960's era fuselage that has had numerous accidents and incidents and many AD's will be used once again. Boeing swore they would not do that, but were cornered when AMR threatened to order all A320 and A320NEO for narrowbody replacements, so forced introduction of an undesigned B737MAX.

    The moral of all that: We'll have more surprises coming as all these enter service and there will be some unpleasant AD's. Count on it. After the dust settles the world will have more efficient and better aircraft. The A380 and B787 are proof of that today.

    Am I opinionated? Who, me? No...:rolleyes:

     
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  15. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    I'm pretty sure that innovation must win, even when there are risks attached and additional costs or as some say, embarrassment for the manufacturer. Why? In the end the passenger will be better off with more efficient, technological advanced and safer planes circling our planet and bring us where we want to be. That's something and this is the way it will go with the A380 or B787 and beyond, we all can be very proud despite shortfalls, problems and sometimes the unavoidable challenges related to launching such fantastic new aviation products. As always in life it's all about the learning curve.
     
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  16. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I agree. We are very fortunate that today we don't do things like the following:
    1) Learn to require type ratings only after half the fleet of the then-new Learjet 23 crashed due to pilot errors;
    2) Decide to have positive control airspace only after two fully loaded airliners crashed over the Grand Canyon;
    3) Enforce global standard air traffic controller terminology only after two fully loaded 747's crashed head on;
    4) Decide fatigue analysis was a serious issue only after Dehaviland Comets crashed frequently, destroying many lives;
    5) Finally discover that current carrying wires should not be routes through empty fuel tanks only after an old 747 exploded (TWA 800);
    6) Discover that even cruise-limited pilots should know how to fly in abnormal conditions only after an A330 crashed because the pilots did not follow procedures.

    We hear about most the bad stories, and the odd heroic one, but the really good news is that almost all the really bad things are being found before crashes and deaths happen, not after. That is why aviation is growing safer and safer, why new aircraft are safer than old ones and why AD's now are coming before an accident might force the issue rather than after.

    We are lucky to be frequent flyers today IMO.
     
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  17. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    You mean before they SAW them :D
     
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  18. hpc

    hpc Silver Member

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    I have flown AF A380 JFK-CDG several times, and would do it tomorrow again if I had the chance. I trust the statement that the cracks aren't security issues. The A380 is simply my favorite plane - period! Actually it made me change my favorite route from US to Europe :)
    Regarding the engine issue, I was happy to learn that the AF A380's are equipped with the GP7000 engine and not the Trent 900 engine which exploded on The Singapore A380.
     
  19. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    The engine failure was actually on a Qantas airplane that landed in Singapore. That was indeed a big deal, but it seems RR has resolved the issues with the Trent also.
     
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  20. hpc

    hpc Silver Member

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    Ah, that's right :) Thanks for correcting my memory.
    Yeah, I know they have fixed the issue, but the incident happened shortly before my first A380 trip, so it was nice for me (and especially my wife and kids) to be able to say that AF ordered the GP7000 engines and not the RR's :)
     
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  21. General_Flyer
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    General_Flyer Gold Member

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    Sorry, that title has been taken. 388's name is the Whale of the Skies! :p
     
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  22. HaveMilesWillTravel
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  23. jetsetboy

    jetsetboy Silver Member

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    I'd love to hear your perspective on what makes the 380 great. So what makes it your favorite plane?
     
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  24. craz
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    craz Silver Member

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    thus far Ive flown on EKs,LHs,& AFs 380s and would do so again tomorrow w/o batting an eye

    as others have already said the 787 has had it share of problems and 1 can only hope they dont resurface or something else pop up. The 737s have had its share over the yrs of its skin coming off yet its the mainstay of numerous carriers

    I really do believe if AirBus thought theres the slightest possibility of a 380 crashing due to the cracks they would Ground them all. Keep in mind if 1 goes down the company is out of business, and the same applys to Boeing

    Both companys have to much at stake to roll the dice
     
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  25. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    try the LH variety, they've been pretty well insulated against broken wings and bits.
     
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