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More Frequent Inspections for Airbus A380-800

Airbus has asked customers using its A380 super-jumbo to inspect the aircraft’s wing spars after six years, rather than the previously mandated 12, following the results of fatigue testing on its A380 factory test rig.

“There were findings on our test rig in Bremen,” spokesman Martin Fendt said.

Airbus A380-800 During Water Ingestion Test
Airbus A380-800 During Water Ingestion Test

Details of the results were not available. However, he made the point that the fatigue testing program had been concluded after it had completed more than three times the A380’s design life. “We’ve really gone above and beyond what the aircraft would ever do in service.”

The first examples of the A380 entered service (with Singapore Airlines) in late 2007 and so have just passed the six-year mark. The aircraft that was inspected at six years had not been found to have any fatigue concerns, he added. The aircraft’s major structural inspection would take place at 12 years.

The first A380 for Emirates Airline, by far the largest user of the type with 140 in service or on order, entered service in summer 2008 and will reach the six-year mark later this year.

At this stage, there are no recommended actions for airlines to take regarding the spars, apart from inspecting them, Fendt said. “Going forward, any possible action would probably take place through the maintenance program. via atw
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