The LEAP-X from CFM International, a GE/Snecma (Safran Group) joint venture and the Pratt and Whitney PW1000G Geared Turbofan will be offered on the A320 family as the NEO – New Engine Options. [Read more...]
After many years of plotting and planning, Lufthansa rolled out its in-flight Internet service again today on a media flight from Frankfurt to New York. The airline’s excitement was palpable. For years they have been keeping the Boeing Connexion antennae on 69 planes, with the hope of reactivating them. [Read more...]
What is Qatar’s CEO, Akbar Al-Baker, up to?
The unpredictable Al-Baker, who has achieved the nickname U-Turn Al for his ability to pivot 180 degrees at a moment’s notice, seems to like the limelight in the press with his bombastic behavior.
In his latest interview, he takes on Boeing and Bombardier.
His frustration with Boeing is understandable. With a major order for the 787, Qatar is adversely affected by the repeated delays in the program and the continuing uncertainty over the delivery schedule.
His public criticism of Bombardier and Pratt & Whitney is mysterious–and may fall into the category of public posturing.
But first, how did Al-Baker earn the nickname U-Turn Al?
The EC has approved a Dutch Government advance of €19.7 million of launch aid for an upgraded version of the Fokker 100 aircraft by NG Aircraft, formerly known as Rekkof (Fokker backwards). The question that must be asked is if there is really a market for an upgraded version of the Fokker 100 that ceased production in 1997 and was a stretch of the F-28 Fellowship that entered service in 1967. [Read more...]
The Terrorists Have Won!
While the controversy over full body scans and sexually-invasive pat-downs by the TSA is intriguing, it masks the greater question — competence and the ability to find and deter terrorists. Today, the TSA is treating everyone as a suspect or criminal while failing to focus on the group most likely to produce potential terrorists due to “political correctness.” TSA, by having agents effectively “feel-up” small children, handicapped grandmothers, even even a Roman Catholic Nun, as shown in recent news footage, has now brought the real problem to light – the agency hasn’t a clue on how to keep travelers safe and has become a show rather than substance.
The Qantas A380 that had its engine explode is also known as MSN 014 – making it the 14th A380 built. We have received some data from the explosion event that we can share with you.
We are not the first to break this story – for that you can view it here. We can confirm that the presentation on that site is from the official Airbus version. But it misses a crucial image which we are sharing.
The document clearly states the information is proprietary to Airbus and we respect that. With that as a backdrop let’s review what we know and bear the picture in mind. The area between the two gray dashed lines is the where the engine debris went.
The damage consists of the following:
- Massive fuel leak in the left mid fuel tank (the plane has 11 tanks,
including in the horizontal stabilizer)
- Massive fuel leak in the left inner fuel tank
- A hole on the flap canoe/fairing that you could fit a male upper body
- The aft gallery in the fuel system failed, preventing fuel transfer functions
- Fuel jettison problems developed due to the previous problems
- Large hole in the upper wing surface
- Partial failure of leading edge slats
- Partial failure of speed brakes/ground spoilers
- Shrapnel damage to the flaps
- Total loss of all hydraulic fluid in the Green System (A380 has 2×5,000 PSI systems; Green and Yellow)
- Manual extension of landing gear required
- Loss of one generator and associated systems
- Loss of brake anti-skid system
- Inability to shut down #1 engine using normal method after landing due to major systems damage
- Inability to shutdown adjacent #1 engine using using the fire switch
- Therefore, no fire protection available for engine #1 after the explosion in #2
- ECAM warnings of major fuel imbalance because of fuel leaks on left
side, that could not be fixed with fuel cross-feed
- Fuel trapped in horizontal stabilizer trim tank. Therefore, possible major center of gravity out-of-balance condition on landing.
Having gone through the litany of events that went wrong after the engine blew, you might wonder how the A380 kept flying. But it did – we understand that the airplane’s backup systems all worked as designed.
The outcome is a combination of miracle and amazing training. Kudos to the crew that deserve as much praise as the BA crew who brought home the 777 that lost all power on final. Clearly their training was of the highest order.
Next the design of the A380 deserves recognition. Think again about the image and the debris field – the Trent 900 was at maximum power when it blew. The damage within the wing was tremendous. If this happened to an airplane even a decade ago, there is a high likelihood the plane would have been lost. Yet even with pieces of metal traveling at high speed, nothing penetrated the cabin. The wing withstood the shock of this well.
We do not want to share images of the damage – look at the linked site for that. But it is clear the damage could easily have brought down the plane. Yet the A380 withstood the damage and made it back.
Fortunately the event occurred close to Singapore – had this happened at cruise over the ocean, the outcome might have been different. Who knows how long the A380 could have stayed aloft with this damage?
We believe the report and images demonstrate the damage was significant, and only underscores the good basic design of the airplane and its well trained crew.
[Update - listen to this podcast: http://iagblog.podomatic.com/entry/2010-11-18T15_00_31-08_00 ]
Reality fell far short.
On the first day of the show, the Chinese announced 100 “orders” for the airplane, which challenges the Boeing 737-800/900 and the Airbus A320/321. So far, on target. Six customers signed: the Big Three (Air China, China Eastern and China Southern) signed, as expected; Hainan did, too, a surprise, as did China Development Bank (not previously suspected) and GECAS (not previously suspected but no particular surprise, either, given GECAS’ prior order for 5+20 COMAC/AVIC ARJ21 regional jets).
But Aviation Week took a look under the hood, so-to-speak, and discovered the 100 orders were really just a dismal 55 from the six customers.
Jim McNerney, Chairman and CEO of Boeing, issued a downbeat assessment of the US Aerospace industry at the Wings Club in New York November 11 when he expressed concern that the US industry may atrophy due to a shrinking labor talent pool.. In doing so, he cited the failure of the Boeing business model that delegated too much work to partners in an effort to share the costs and risks of the large scale development program for the 787. He is now concerned about competition from China, Russia and Japan.
The irony about the emerging competitors is notable because Boeing has long relied upon these three countries for outsourcing and stepped up the work in Japan and Russia for the troubled 787 and 747-8 programs. In essence, Boeing has had a major hand in creating its own competitors. (Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer also are guilty as well.)