Cracks found on super jumbo plane's wings
Published 08/02/2012 | 10:49
Another wing crack problem has been found on the world's largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380 superjumbo, whose future airline customers include British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
The latest incident involves hairline cracks found on the wings of an A380 operated by Australian carrier Qantas.
The wings of Airbus planes are made in the UK. Qantas has temporarily grounded the aircraft involved.
The airline said the 36 cracks posed no threat to safety and they were different from the types of cracks that manufacturer Airbus found in the wings of two jets last month.
That discovery prompted the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) to order an inspection of some A380s.
There were reports today that EASA is now ordering inspections of all A380s but this was not confirmed by Airbus and an official statement was still awaited from EASA.
British Airways is due to take delivery of the first of 12 A380s next year, while the first of Virgin's eight superjumbos will arrive in 2015.
Singapore Airlines, one of the carriers that operates A380s in and out of Heathrow airport, was the first airline to take delivery of a superjumbo, with the debut passenger flight taking place in October 2007.
Superjumbo services to Heathrow began in March 2008, with Manchester airport services starting in September 2010.