Another Qantas engine problem

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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SINGAPORE — A Qantas Boeing 747 with 431 people on board landed safely in Singapore late Friday after an engine caught fire minutes after it took off from the city-state, the airline and a passenger said.

The problem arose just a day after a Qantas Airbus A380 superjumbo jet made an emergency landing at the same airport due to an engine blowout...
http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5glnWkF4OYX0NZkxYhONr04DXvNOQ?docId=5045790 [Broken]

Two in two days? That seems unlikely.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Two different aircraft with different engines (although by the same supplier) - just happen to belong to the same airline.

Seen on another site - an interesting comparison of reporting on the A380 engine failure

"well, the plane obviously wasn't plummeting out of the sky, so we figured things were probably okay,"

Contrast with CNN's coverage, which in reference to a passenger-shot video made the comment that "conversation appeared to be at normal levels, indicating that none of the passengers realized the gravity of the situation."

Apparently flight safety briefing now includes advice - in the event of an emergency, please scream theatrically for anybody videoing this on their cellphones. It's ratings week and we have a 24hour news cycle to satisfy.
 
  • #3
Ivan Seeking
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Two different aircraft with different engines (although by the same supplier) - just happen to belong to the same airline.

Which suggests a possible systemic maintenance problem.
 
  • #4
Chi Meson
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Which suggests a possible systemic maintenance problem.

How very un-Quantas of them. Aren't they like the epitome of a well-maintained air fleet?
 
  • #5
How very un-Quantas of them. Aren't they like the epitome of a well-maintained air fleet?
They are lucky - in a way.
They mostly fly longhaul routes in empty skies in generally good weather and all the commuter airlines that feed them are separate corporations - so that gives them statistically good odds of not having an oops.

Of course it also means there is only one way to go!
 
  • #6
Astronuc
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Which suggests a possible systemic maintenance problem.
Qantas CEO points to the new Rolls Royce engine.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/05/business/global/05engine.html
The pressure on Rolls-Royce intensified on Friday when Qantas’s CEO, Alan Joyce, said the mid-air engine failure on Flight 32 may have been caused by material failure or a design problem with the engines. Mr. Joyce said it was still too early to determine a cause for the failure but he rejected concerns from a labor union that it may have been caused by insufficient maintenance, a responsibility of the airline.
Apparently RR is developing an engine for Boeing's 787, but problems with the engine have caused delays.

Two other Airbus 380 aircraft experience failures of Trent 900 engines. The A380 entered service only three years ago.

And apparently RR is having problems with its Trent 1000 as well.

And Airbus is contemplating a single engine aircraft (A350)!?!
 
  • #7
Isn't the GE engine for the 7e7 a composite blade unit?
Are there any other composite fan large engines? RR abandoned them for the forerunner of the Trent series because of safety concerns
If one of those failed, it would take a lot longer to convince airlines and safety boards that a composite turbine was safe.
 
  • #8
turbo
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And Airbus is contemplating a single engine aircraft (A350)!?!
Nope! Multiple engines, but only a single engine option - you can't have them configured with either RR or GE-Pratt. It's RR or nothing. If RR is perceived as having quality issues, it might be tough for Airbus to sell many 350s though.
 
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  • #9
Astronuc
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Nope! Multiple engines, but only a single engine option - you can't have them configured with either RR or GE-Pratt. It's RR or nothing. If RR is perceived as having quality issues, it might be tough for Airbus to sell many 350s though.
Ah I should have checked.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A350 (twin engine)

I'm not aware that aircraft mix engine designs on a single aircraft. They buy two or four in set, but traditionally there was a choice of engine suppliers.
 
  • #10
turbo
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Another little wrinkle - the 350 will have carbon-composite wings. In the case of an uncontained engine failure (like the first Quantas problem in the thread) will brittleness pose a problem if the wing is struck by debris?
 
  • #11
Another little wrinkle - the 350 will have carbon-composite wings. In the case of an uncontained engine failure (like the first Quantas problem in the thread) will brittleness pose a problem if the wing is struck by debris?

Not really the wing isn't a single component, the extra strength of the CF probably does better having a hole punched through it than a riveted metal plate would.

I think the real concern with CF structures is as planes age. Composites are going to decay in ways we never thought of, perhaps some cleaning fluid used 20years earlier rots the glue, or flying through sulphur containing coal smoke ages it more - and CF is harder to check.
Apart from a few parts of airbuses and a few military planes with very few air-hours we don't have the same 70yers of experience we do with Al. Even with aluminium structures we got a few surprises, like the comet or the hawaiian convertible flight.
 
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  • #12
Moonbear
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I thought they had grounded all planes with this engine until they could investigate the cause of the engine failure earlier this week (because it wasn't the first time that type of engine failed this year). Or maybe it was just one type of plane and the engine is in other planes? Looks like they need to ground any plane with that engine in it. Makes me glad I canceled the trip I was planning to take to India this month; I don't think I'd like the idea of flying overseas knowing there are this many engine failures happening right now.
 
  • #14
Moonbear
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Moonbear the stats still overwhelmingly point to you being quite safe :)

As long as you aren't flying a Rolls Royce. :wink:
 
  • #15
turbo
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Qantas inspections have uncovered oil leaks in 3 separate RR engines in 3 different A380s. They have replaced those engines with spares, and their A380s will remain grounded another 3 days while they follow up.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_qantas_emergency;_ylt=Aq29h7pov_TC8kRk8BryUBGs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNuM3NiNWI3BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAxMTA4L2FzX3FhbnRhc19lbWVyZ2VuY3kEY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwM1BHBvcwMyBHB0A2hvbWVfY29rZQRzZWMDeW5faGVhZGxpbmVfbGlzdARzbGsDcWFudGFzY2Vvb2ls [Broken]
 
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  • #16
Qantas inspections have uncovered oil leaks in 3 separate RR engines in 3 different A380s.
So what, all classic British sports cars leak oil - it's part of their charm.
 
  • #17
turbo
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So what, all classic British sports cars leak oil - it's part of their charm.
The Manx Norton 500cc thumper does as well, but if it fails you can pull over and not fall out of the sky.
 
  • #18
Kurdt
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The Manx Norton 500cc thumper does as well, but if it fails you can pull over and not fall out of the sky.

Thats if you haven't fallen off from covering your own rear wheel with oil.
 
  • #19
turbo
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Thats if you haven't fallen off from covering your own rear wheel with oil.
Manx doesn't do that. It just wants to mark the inside of the rider's right leg - like a cat marking territory.
 
  • #20
Kurdt
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Oh well. You can't complain at that then. :tongue:
 
  • #21
lisab
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So what, all classic British sports cars leak oil - it's part of their charm.

My uncle loves British cars, especially old MGs. He says you never own one - you have a relationship with it.
 
  • #22
turbo
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My uncle loves British cars, especially old MGs. He says you never own one - you have a relationship with it.
You can adopt one, and pamper, baby, and curse at it for as long as you have the patience. I can't tell you how many hours I have spend wrenching an old MGA. It wasn't mine, but Lars was good about letting me drive it, and drifting curves on gravel roads was EXCELLENT when it was running well.

Still, I expect a bit higher standard for aircraft engines that need to keep working in order to keep hundreds of people from going "splat!"
 
  • #23
Astronuc
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Official to AP: Rolls-Royce replacing A380 engines

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101115/ap_on_bi_ge/superjumbo_woes [Broken]

Leaking oil caught fire on Nov. 4 in one of the Qantas A380's four massive Trent 900 engines, heating metal parts and causing the motor's disintegration over Indonesia before the jetliner returned safely to Singapore. Experts say chunks of flying metal damaged vital systems in the wing of the Sydney-bound plane, causing the pilots to lose control of the second engine and half of the brake flaps on the damaged wing in a situation far more serious than originally portrayed by the airline.
:uhh:
 
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