The No. 4 engine on the Airbus A380 engine suffered an uncontained failure during a flight recently from Paris to Los Angeles.
One of 500 passengers aboard an Airbus A380 bound for Los Angeles described Sunday the moment the superjumbo suffered a mid-flight engine explosion and was forced to land in a remote part of eastern Canada.
Enrique Guillen said Air France flight AF66 from Paris was passing over Greenland bound for California on Saturday when it was rocked by an uncontained engine failure — a rare emergency in which machinery and other parts break away from the plane at high velocity.
Aircraft engines are designed to contain most problems, such as snapped fan blades or bird strikes.
Pictures taken from inside the Air France plane showed the front cowling and fan disc of the No. 4 engine, outermost on the right side, had completely sheared off.
“We looked out the window and saw half of the engine was missing,” said Guillen, an NBC executive who added that hundreds of passengers were stuck aboard the stricken plane at Goose Bay, Labarador, awaiting a replacement.
The U.S. manufacturer of the engine, Connecticut-based Engine Alliance, said it was investigating the failure, which the airline said caused “serious damage.”
Rolls-Royce takes hit on 787 and A380 blade flaws
Rolls-Royce has recognised a charge of £227 million ($315 million) in its full-year results relating to costs associated with addressing in-service technical issues on Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 engines.
The charges offset an increase in underlying revenues, up 12% to £3.8 billion, as the company delivered 483 large aircraft engines – a rise of 126 on the previous year – and generated a one-third increase in civil aerospace profit to £520 million.
Rolls-Royce is trying to deal with lower-than-expected durability issues affecting both the Trent 1000 for the 787 and the Trent 900 for the A380.
“These issues have required urgent short-term support including both on-wing and shop visit intervention which has resulted in increased disruption for some of our customers,” it admits.
“We have continued to progress our understanding of both the technical and operational issues and we are making solid progress with longer-term solutions, largely through redesigning affected parts.”
The problems have centred on compressor rotor blades, intermediate- and high-pressure turbine blades for the Trent 1000 as well as high-pressure turbine blades for the Trent 900.
Selected Airline Incidents for aircraft type Airbus A-380-800
A Qantas Airbus A380-800, registration VH-OQD performing flight QF-2 from London Heathrow,EN (UK) to Singapore (Singapore), was enroute at FL350 about 40nm east of Astrakhan (Russia) about to overfly… read more
An Emirates Airbus A380-800, registration A6-EDI performing flight EK-16 from
A Lufthansa Airbus A380-800, registration D-AIML performing flight LH-454 from Frankfurt/Main (Germany) to San Francisco,CA (USA), was climbing out of Frankfurt about 5 minutes into the flight when a… read more
A Lufthansa Airbus A380-800, registration D-AIML performing flight LH-455 (dep Feb 11th, arr Feb 12th) from San Francisco,CA (USA) to Frankfurt/Main (Germany), was climbing out of San Francisco about… read more
A Thai Airways Airbus A380-800, registration HS-TUA performing flight TG-676 from Bangkok (Thailand) to Tokyo Narita (Japan), was climbing through FL370 out of Bangkok when the crew received… read more
A Lufthansa Airbus A380-800, registration D-AIMF performing flight LH-440 from Frankfurt/Main (Germany) to Houston,TX (USA), was enroute at FL360 about 550nm west of Shannon (Ireland) when the crew… read more
An Air France Airbus A380-800, registration F-HPJI performing flight AF-178 from Paris Charles de Gaulle (France) to Mexico City (Mexico) with 543 people on board, was enroute at FL340 about 170nm… read more
A Malaysia Airbus A380-800, registration 9M-MND performing flight MH-1 from London Heathrow,EN (UK) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), was enroute at FL330 about 5nm south of Brussels (Belgium) when the… read more
A Malaysia Airlines Airbus A380-800, registration 9M-MNB performing flight MH-3 (dep Oct 14th) from London Heathrow,EN (UK) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), landed on Kuala Lumpur’s runway 32L and slowed…. read more
An Air France Airbus A380-800, registration F-HPJG performing flight AF-66 from Paris Charles de Gaulle (France) to Los Angeles,CA (USA), was descending towards Los Angeles when the crew needed to… read more
An Emirates Airbus A380-800, registration A6-EUJ performing flight EK-261 from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to Sao Paulo Guarulhos,SP (Brazil), was in the initial climb out of Dubai’s runway 12R when… read more
An Emirates Airbus A380-800, registration A6-EEU performing flight EK-207 from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to New York JFK,NY (USA), was on final approach to New York’s runway 13L following the… read more
A China Southern Airlines Airbus A380-800, registration B-6137 performing flight CZ-3104 from Beijing to Guangzhou (China) with 395 passengers, entered runway 36R via taxiway W2 lining up for… read more
A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380-800, registration 9V-SKI performing flight SQ-861 from Hong Kong (China) to Singapore (Singapore) with 433 passengers and 27 crew, was on approach to Singapore… read more
An Air France Airbus A380-800, registration F-HPJE performing flight AF-66 from Paris Charles de Gaulle (France) to Los Angeles,CA (USA) with 497 passengers and 24 crew, was enroute at FL370 about… read more
Is this plane safe??
A Qantas Airbus A380-800, registration VH-OQJ performing flight QF-9 (dep 4th) from Melbourne,VI (Australia) to Dubai (United Arab Emirates) with 410 passengers, was enroute at FL360 over western… read more
An Emirates Airbus A380-800, registration A6-EOP performing flight EK-19 from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to Manchester,EN (UK), was on approach to Manchester’s runway 23R (length 3048m/10,000 feet)… read more
A Lufthansa Airbus A380-800, registration D-AIMJ performing flight LH-456 from Frankfurt/Main (Germany) to Los Angeles,CA (USA) with 501 passengers and 24 crew, was on final approach to Los Angeles’… read more
An Emirates Airbus A380-800, registration A6-EDU performing flight EK-302 from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to Shanghai Pudong (China), was enroute at FL330 over the Arabian Sea about 540nm east of… read more
An Air France Airbus A380-800, registration F-HPJI performing flight AF-990 (dep May 27th) from Paris Charles de Gaulle (France) to Johannesburg (South Africa), was enroute at FL370 about 80nm south… read more
A China Southern Airbus A380-800, registration B-6139 performing flight CZ-3999 from Guangzhou to Beijing (China), was climbing out of Guangzhou when the crew stopped the climb at 2700 meters/9000… read more
An Emirates Airbus A380-800, registration A6-EOQ performing flight EK-703 from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to Mauritius (Mauritius), was enroute at FL380 about 700nm south of Dubai when the crew… read more
Australia has long been part of flight aviation history, from Lawrence Hargrave’s flight in his box kite in 1894 to the epic journeys of Sir Charles “Smithy” Kingsford-Smith, Nancy-Bird Walton and astronaut Andy Thomas. Yet as the “giant white underbelly” of that equally historic double-decker Singapore Airlines flight circled over Sydney on October 24, 2007, the on-ground Sydney Morning Herald reporter noted that when SQ380 touched down – with the “first-ever double-bed suite”, the “world’s largest business seat” and “a few extra centimetres of knee room” for economy passengers – it would mark “the biggest milestone in civil aviation in nearly four decades”.
Sure, the A380 was two years late. But plenty of airlines had placed orders. Singapore was first to fly it, but 14 other elite airlines were in the queue for 169 A380s. Qantas, with 20 on order, was the second most enthusiastic customer after Emirates (55), followed by Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways and Etihad.
Naturally everyone expected Boeing – the Seattle-based American giant – to fight back against its European competitor. So it did, with the 787 Dreamliner, which (after its own three-year delay) took its first commercial flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong in October 2011.
Though a wide-bodied, long-haul, twin-engined jet with many of the A380’s technical advances, the Dreamliner is not even a Jumbo since it “only” carries between 242 and 335 passengers, depending on the airline seat configuration. However, its long range, mid-size and fuel efficiency makes it extremely adaptable.
So, a decade later, how has the Airbus A380 fared? How has it matched up to passenger expectations? As of 2017, 13 airlines have a total of 214 A380s in service. Not one of those is American. By far the biggest A380 customer is Emirates, which has 96 in service and another 46 on order. “We are scheduled to receive our 100th A380 later this year,” says Barry Brown, Emirates divisional vice-president for Australasia. “The A380 makes up more than a third of our fleet.”
Singapore Airlines has 18 A380s in service, with another five “on firm order”. Qantas, meanwhile, has 12 A380s, operating on flights from Melbourne and Sydney to Dubai, and on to London, as well as flights from Melbourne and Sydney to Los Angeles and from Sydney to Dallas, with seasonal services into Asia.
That initial Qantas A380 – Nancy-Bird Walton – took off from Melbourne to LA in October 2008, yet Qantas has no more A380s on order. Instead, the first of its eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners is due to begin service on the Melbourne to LA route in December.
Boeing says a total of 578 Dreamliners are now in service, with another 700 on order. All Nippon Airways (60), Japan Airways (34) and Qatar (30) have the most in flight.
What, if anything, went wrong with Airbus’s bid for ascendancy over Boeing? In terms of engineering excellence, it remains a marvel (as was the world’s only commercial supersonic aircraft, the late-lamented Concorde). Who knew its wing tips were based on the wing feathers of a steppe eagle, giving it extra lift in a tight circle upwards? Or that its 3000 square metres of fuselage is a glass reinforced aluminium laminate which can survive constant batterings from a high velocity, high altitude chicken gun?
Ultimately, though, most passengers only care about two things about a plane. How safe it is and how comfortable it is.
No A380, according to AirSafe.com, has, God willing at the time of writing, has ever crashed or been involved in a stowaway, hijack or sabotage incident. Nor has anyone ever died in suspicious circumstances aboard an A380. Famously, however, Qantas Flight 32 was forced to make an emergency landing at Changi Airport on November 4, 2010, after an uncontained engine failure. Captain Richard Champion de Crespigny became a Member of the Order of Australia for landing the plane without a single injury.
So is the A380 as pleasurable an experience as we were promised? And if it is such a technological marvel, why has it struggled to sell in the volumes Airbus predicted?
Clearly the Global Financial Crisis (which coincided with the A380’s roll-out) did not help sales. But some airlines felt the essential concept was flawed. Super Jumbos rely on transporting large numbers of passengers between major hub airports like Changi, Dubai or London.
Read more: http://www.traveller.com.au/happy-birthday-a380-gy6i4p#ixzz5MkQZgudA