Engineers have discovered minor cracks in the wings of a ‘limited number’ of A380 superjumbos but their safe operation is not affected, plane-maker Airbus says.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported on its website that tiny cracks had appeared on wings of five aircraft including two in service, one with Qantas and another with Singapore Airlines.
"We confirm that minor cracks were found on some non-critical wing rib-skin attachments on a limited number of A380 aircraft," Airbus spokesman Stefan Schaffrath said. "We have traced the origin. Airbus has developed an inspection and repair procedure which will be done during routine, scheduled 4-year maintenance checks. In the meantime, Airbus emphasises that the safe operation of the A380 fleet is not affected."
The newspaper said the first crack, barely visible to the human eye, was spotted on a Qantas A380 undergoing a $130 million repair job in Singapore after a 2010 engine blowout. At first, the discovery was believed to be related to the explosion on an inboard Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine but the cause was later proved to be separate, the report said.