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Factory, design flaws caused A380 cracks

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Airbus blamed a combination of manufacturing and design flaws as more examples of wing cracks arose during checks on the A380, while analysts said its bare-all strategy of addressing the problems in public should limit any lasting damage. A top executive at the European planemaker said it had established how to repair the cracks found on a small number of parts inside the superjumbo's wings. (www.reuters.com) Más...

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bovineone
Jeff Lawson 0
"It blamed the cracks on three errors -- designers' choice of aluminium alloy for some of the 4,000 brackets inside the wings, the use of a type of bolt that strained the metal and a way of closing tiny gaps that put more stress on a handful of parts."

Seems like repairing all of the existing planes would involve replacing a lot of components. Maybe even just replacing the wings entirely?
Derg
Roland Dent 0
Glue is better than bolts...haha
dbrooks84
David Brooks 0
I had that same though! hahaha
indy2001
indy2001 0
While occasional problems are bound to occur in any revolutionary design like the 380, it does seem like that particular model is a bit star-crossed. I wouldn't blame the EADS workers, as well as the airlines, for being a little nervous as they wonder what's next. At least Airbus has decided that full disclosure is a much better way to deal with problems than remaining mum about them. And I hope Boeing is paying attention, since some unforeseen problems are bound to start showing up on the 787.
chalet
chalet 0
Both the AB380 and B787 were rush rush jobs trying to get them to the clients who were fuming.
islands
Steven Jehly 0
I don't think you can say the B787 was a rush job. There were years of delay before they got it right. Boeing did not release the 787 until it was ready. Only time will tell whether they did in fact get it right with regard to the composite materials they used.
Derg
Roland Dent 0
Chalet...B787 was not a rush job. B787 is glued together which is better than bolts anyday.
dbrooks84
David Brooks 0
Both projects were behind schedule so I am not sure what you mean by "rush rush jobs". It has been my experience that when a manufacture is offering a new airliner, they want to project rosy dates when they can get them to customers. Rarely does this work out as the design and development always takes longer and if there are "new" things in the design, you can count on delays.

Roland had mentioned glue for use. I can not speak for all aircraft made, but I was working for McDonnell Douglas late 1960s to early 1980s in St. Louis. On the F-4 assembly line, they used hot glue on all most all outside skins and the rivets were there in case the glue failed. The F-15 also used glue too from what I saw of the assembly. When they started the F/A-18, they used a different building and did not see much nor the assembly of the AV-8B.
genethemarine
Gene spanos 0
Get some of that 500 MPH duct tape
just like the other 3rd world country
tried to use along the pilot's outside
window - frame.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
I think you nailed it. I would use super glue first followed by the tape. Problem solved.
Derg
Roland Dent 0
James..my gut feeling here is that this aircraft is suffering some high G landings. Reason: the damn thing takes a hell of a long runway to stop and pilots want to get the thing down over the numbers as fast as possible. Hence the often hard landings

The design saftey spec is 1.5 max load. So this machine should not break even when landing at 600 tns gross and 750 tns at MTO should be survivable.

In service the frequency at which the machine is landed over say 1.1G is mucher higher than the designers expected. The damn thing flaps like bird when it lands at anything over 1G.

If they had extended the runways before building the A380 my guess is this problem would not have arisen.
Derg
Roland Dent 0
Additionally...in flight turbulance stress must be included into the math...my guess is that it was...but the heavy landings were not. In my view this is a big problem with idealised paradigms as used in CAD programmes..they are wonderful tools to make something right on the limit of cost and mass.
dbrooks84
David Brooks 0
Boeing used Catia CAD software on design of the 777 and the estimates of the effectiveness of this CAD package was pretty extensive. Far less re-work required and made the assembly faster. The 3-D aspects from Catia allowed engineers to see everyone work - electrical, hydraulics, structures, etc. A lot of times,these problems went unsolved until prototype construction had started and they find an electrical cable is supposed to go where a fuel line goes.
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
Figured that when I heard of the first cracks. Glad they caught the early, and hope they don't find more.
Derg
Roland Dent 0
Operator error as far as engineers are concerned.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
Economies of scale to achieve efficiencies is fine up to a point. As long as we fly there will be accidents. Building these larger monsters means the day will come that we will gasp at the carnage.
dbrooks84
David Brooks 0
What amazes me from the article pointing to engineering error, is why was that not picked up through many of the Airbus design reviews they must have held?

Airbus, in the case of the A380, had so many different countries and manufactures involved, there could have been a breakdown in overall systems engineering. That was clear with the wiring in the A380 and that caused a lot of the A380 delay trying to work out that problem.

Bottom line, developing a new airliner is one giant crap shot. I don't remember the title of the book written about 1980 on the development of the L1011 and DC-10 along with Boeing's 747. Lockheed's L1011 was the real loser and the DC-10 (a snake bit plane) never reached the breakeven point. Costs to develop and time are the areas where manufacture generally gets caught in. Costs more and takes longer than scheduled.

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