Back to Squawk list
  • 49

Complex Three-Engine Ferry For A380

Air France plans to ferry a damaged A380 back to France from Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador on three engines but before it can do that it has to install a new engine that won't be running. The wrecked engine will be removed and sent to Wales for inspection by the manufacturer Engine Alliance. For balance and aerodynamic stability a new engine will be installed but because of the other damage it can’t be hooked up and made operable. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Highflyer1950 6
Must be a restriction in the miantenance manual, but on the surface it would seem very plauasable to ferry with the engine removed and balance triim with controls and fuel. The ferry altitude would low as would the airspeed. The B747 did not have a issue with a 5 pod ferry or the DC8 on three and you wouldn't have to worry about a windmilling fan. But I'm sure airbus knows best.
It's the outboard engine which must be replaced, so it affects the roll balance much more than the inboard engine would and probably cannot be properly compensated with fuel and trim.
Highflyer1950 2
Yes, I guess the dry weight of about 15k for the engine, especially an outboard wouldn't be the easiest to balance.
Randall Kimm 1
The fuel burn will be off the standard charts for performance. The 380 will burn more fuel because of the exceptionally high drag from the non-operating engine.
The other factor to consider is why it can be deadly to turn toward the inoperable engine at low and slow speeds. I see a straight in approach is the safest.
RECOR10 -3
as for fuel balance...why not run it on 2? (Serious question)
sparkie624 1
Probably because it would have issues maintaining altitude...
30west 1
Balancing fuel between various fuel tanks is a routine procedure used frequently in the industry. It is not an extraordinary procedure or one to be concerned about.
...and even if it could "be properly compensated with fuel and trim" those factors, speaking specifically trim but fuel is somewhat analogous, would likely be far from normal centered positions and sufficiently near their limits of travel that, in the event of abnormal ops on the flight, they may not have sufficient travel to be effective. Most engineering designs are such that a control would never have to be pinned to the limit of travel.
sparkie624 2
It is a weight and balance factor... Without out the weight of that engine they would not be able to keep the plane level and on course... The Drag of the new engine is less of a problem than no engine.
Roger Curtiss 1
747 5 pod ferry?
David Barnes 5
The 747 has provisions for mounting a fifth (inoperative) engine on the left wing for ferry purposes. See
sparkie624 2
The engine was very close the the fuselage and had been specifically rigged to fly that way... Out board is an entirely different story.
sparkie624 4
Interesting.... I would have never imagined that they would have done that! Most certainly will need a little extra rudder on Take off and Climb out.
canuck44 3
Excellent blog when you follow the embedded link which leads to the FB page of a BA A-380 captain.
djames225 2
Indeed, however he is not up to speed on why the engine won't be operational once installed..5 Squadron/Goose Bay has excellent engineering facilities to allow an install and make operational (heck Swiss did it with help from the folks in Iqaluit,in the winter NTL), but the craft suffered more damage to it from the engine failure..AF will have it in maintenance hanger for a while.
Ken McIntyre 2
Very interesting. I hope someone posts a track map when this ferry occurs.
toolguy105 2
This is not as big a deal as it sounds. Planes get special permission for one time maintenance flights all the time. These flights are authorized when a plane is being operated outside of safe standards. Taking off on three engines is just that. Having that fourth engine in place makes the long flight back to France easier on the crew and the Autopilot though if need be they could have made the flight without it.
sparkie624 -2
The crew probably could Hand fly it, but the margin of safety would be there, however, I do not think the a/c could because the A/P does not have the same control authority as the crew does for obvious reasons. The A/P is also slower to respond to create a smother flight. With that in mind, they would have to literally hand fly the plane and standing on the rudder literally for the entire flight, and as any can imagine, this is not just a jump across a small pond in a 172!
djames225 2
I am hoping that the damage the wing suffered when the engine event occurred, that is preventing them from actually making the new engine operational, won't cause more issues once airborne. Units that test out on the ground have a way to change attitude once put under stress.
OK confirmed
Ahh, the dreaded "3 engine take-off"!
Tom Sharpe 1
Makes you wonder since it is certified and will fly at full gross Take Off with a failure at V1 and could theoretically fly for hours to destination. Must have something to do with the damage sustained.
Kris Durbin 0
The article references this A380 write-up on operational requirements for the ferry flight.
Mike Epstein 0
Is it feasible to fly on just the two inboard engines?
jagerardi -1
"stranding 521 passengers and crew for 12 hours until two aircraft could be dispatched"

If other aircraft were en route, then they weren't "stranded," they were just waiting.

I really wish these "journalists" would take a journalism class...

Dave Fisher 3
strand (verb): to leave (someone) without the means to move from somewhere.

therefore, the passengers were stranded until such time as the other planes arrived.

btw, this is not a matter for journalism, it's high school english...
sparkie624 0
You expect a Journalist to report accurately.... Where ave you been.. I mean really, anyone who listens to them the worst of everything is going to happen...You are going to crash if you first don't get shot or stabbed and the list goes on.... Like Mike Huckabee said during last years election... "If Trump walked on water, the media would say Trump can't swim". I remember an aircraft had an oil pressure indication issue and diverted... Media reported the a/c had an engine failure and was interview people asking them about how scared they were of crashing.... LOL, I was one of the passengers.... When they asked me the question I told them "No, it was an oil indication issue with a precautionary shut down and there was no danger"... For some reason, my response did not make the news that night... Stupid journalist.. can't stand any of them.
Few weeks ago after Hurricane Irma we had some CNN reporters near us (near Orlando). They wanted us to pose near a down tree and "look sad"...we never lost power or internet in the "storm"....
sparkie624 0
Perfect example of making your own news... Even if it isn't news! that is why they are called "Fake News"... I am sure someone posed for them... and it seems that the people they do get never know how to shut up! or even know what they are talking about!
Do we not remember the BA 74-4 that lost an engine on TO from KLAX and proceeded to EGLL normally?
The 380 is as or more capable.

t think that 3 engine TO's of all configs haven't been thoroughly examined in flight for the 380 is not realistic.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Highflyer1950 10
I think you should read your own post and see if it makes sense?
I would think either one would fly with no operation engines. For a bit.
Go back to the stone age please
Colin Seftel -1
The A380 is rated to fly with just operational one engine. Source:
wx1996 5
The article you reference as fact is only an opinion of a traveler, not a pilot nor an engineer. The neither the A380 or B747 is "rated" for safe continuous flight on one engine.

Either the A380 or B747 with only a single running engine would be in a full emergency.
djames225 1
Don't show them that Colin..I don't think they would understand that the APU would be brought online to sustain and compliment the one engine...much the same way it will be used more on this ferry trip back to Framce.
Robert Seery 1
Does an APU actually produce meaningful thrust? Or is that a joke?
djames225 3
Normally an APY is off inflight, relying on the engines to produce bleed air etc but with that engine out, it will be brought online to help stav off the extra demand on the other 3 engines...just because no pax, still need to pressurize the cabin and provide enviroment
sparkie624 1
In flight, most of the time it is strictly for electrical load... Under 25,000 it can help with pressurization.. Of course every a/c is different, but as a rule of thumb the primary use of an apu is Electrical load and engine starting, not to mention cooling on the ground. At altitude, the APU is Beverly limited into what it can supply in the form of air.
djames225 1
My understanding is due to that engine being out, FL will be max FL25. That's why I mentioned for environment, the 3 engines can help with fresh air and A/C but the electrical load will be placed more on the APU
sparkie624 1
Most APU's can work to max altitude, but they can only provide an air load for cooling, pressurization at 25,000... Some go higher, some are ground ops only.
sparkie624 2
Simple answer, NO! - Where there would be enough thrust to blow a pigeon off course flying behind it, it would not have any affect on the jet a/c.... Most APU's even on a test stand, they do not push out that much force.. A lot of volume, but no horse power so to speak. You can walk behind an APU and not fall over, but not behind a jet engine... However, it is not a good practice to be that close to it.


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
This website uses cookies. By using and further navigating this website, you accept this.
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.