EU Aviation Safety
Agency Calls For An Immediate Inspection Of The A380
By Daniel Baxter
January 22, 2012 - On Friday the European Aviation Safety Agency issued an airworthiness directive (AD) on the Airbus A380. The European Aviation Safety Agency is requiring owners and operators of Airbus A380 superjumbo jets after perform a detailed visual inspection of the wing rib feet" the metal brackets that connect the wing's ribs to its skin after Airbus found new cracks in the metal brackets inside the wings.
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus. It is the world's largest passenger airliner. Many airports had to modify and improve their facilities to accommodate it. Designed to challenge Boeing's monopoly in the large-aircraft market, the A380 entered initial commercial service in October 2007 with Singapore Airlines.
airworthiness directive (commonly abbreviated as AD) is a
notification to owners and operators of certified aircraft that
a known safety deficiency with a particular model of aircraft,
engine, avionics or other system exists and must be corrected.
If a certified aircraft has outstanding airworthiness directives
that have not been complied with, the aircraft is not considered
airworthy. Thus, it is mandatory for an aircraft operator to
comply with an AD.
an unscheduled internal inspection of an A380 wing, some rib
feet have been found with cracks originating from the rib to
skin panel attachment holes (Type 1 cracks according to Airbus
All Operator Telex (AOT) terminology).
this finding, inspections were carried out on a number of other
airplanes where further cracks have been found. During one of
those inspections, a new form of rib foot cracking originating
from the forward and aft edges of the vertical web of the rib
feet has been identified (Type 2 cracks according to Airbus AOT
terminology). The new form of cracking is more significant than
the original rib foot hole cracking. It has been determined that
the Type 2 cracks may develop on other airplanes after a period
of time in service.
condition, if not detected and corrected, could potentially
affect the structural integrity of the aircraft. For this reason
the European Aviation Safety Agency has issued this AD and
requires a Detailed Visual Inspection (DVI) of certain wing rib
feet. This AD also requires reporting the inspection results to
Airbus. As of January 2012 there had been 253 firm orders
for the A380, of which 68 have been delivered. The largest
order, for 90 aircraft, was from Emirates. At present there are
sixty eight A380?s in flight operations.
As of January 2012 there had been 253 firm orders for the A380, of which 68 have been delivered. The largest order, for 90 aircraft, was from Emirates. At present there are sixty eight A380?s in flight operations.
|The A380's has a list price of $389.9 million. The aircraft has an upper deck extends along the entire length of the fuselage, with a width equivalent to a wide-body aircraft. This allows for an A380-800's cabin with 5,145.1 sq ft of floor space; 49% more floor space than the current next-largest airliner, the Boeing 747-400 with 3,455.2 sq ft, and provides seating for 525 people in a typical three-class configuration or up to 853 people in all-economy class configurations. The A380-800 has a design range of 9,600 mi, sufficient to fly from New York to Hong Kong at a cruising speed of Mach 0.85 or 560 mph at cruising altitude.|
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