The European Aviation Safety Agency has detected micro cracks that can disrupt the wing structure of the A380, the world’s largest aircraft. Airbus will ask the users of the 25 oldest Super Jumbo to carry out checks.
The Airbus A380, currently the largest passenger airliner in the world, may have a problem with wing durability. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has found that older aircraft of this type may have gaps, which, if not repaired, may reduce the integrity of the wings, says Bloomberg.
The agency alerted Airbus, which will now report to Super Jumbo users with a request for appropriate testing. Airbus points out that this analysis may take place during subsequent routine inspections of the aircraft. Aircraft grounding will therefore not be necessary.
This is also confirmed by EASA, which is currently developing an airworthiness directive. In turn, appropriate repairs – if necessary – can be carried out during planned renovation works.
It is worth noting that the inspections will concern only the 25 oldest machines used, including by airlines such as Emirates, Quantas or Singapore Airlines. Newer aircraft will need to be inspected at a later date, but a maximum of 15 years from production.
Airlines will check the structure of the wings using ultrasound. If cracks are found, carriers must notify the machine manufacturer, according to EASA decision, who will instruct the lines on repairs. In this case, they must be carried out before the next flight of the A380.
The problem with cracks that can reduce the integrity of the wings is not new. This is one of the ills that troubled the A380 a few years ago. Airbus spent many millions of euros on machine servicing.
The largest user of the Airbus A380 is today the Emirates line. The fleet of this Middle Eastern carrier has as many as 111 copies of the largest aircraft in the world that connect Dubai with 57 cities. Emirates is expected to get another 12 A380 aircraft by the end of 2021. In February, Airbus announced that it would end production of the world’s largest aircraft by then.