Update: A380 concerns mean more delays

By Michael Flux, November 8 2010
Update: A380 concerns mean more delays

Update: As a result of inspections, Qantas has confirmed the cause of the QF32's engine failure.

The failure of Rolls-Royce's Trent 900 engine appears to have happened in the intermediate pressure turbine. 

Air Transport World reports that certain clues point to an oil fire occurring within the QF32 engine, such as burn marks on its cowling. A similar event occurred on August the second of this year while Rolls-Royce were conducting tests on a Trent 1000. 

At least three of the Rolls-Royce engines on two Qantas A380s will be changed. No statement has yet been made on when the Qantas A380 fleet will start flying again. 

Previous Article: Qantas passengers planning to fly this week face the prospect of further delays, as the carrier finds issues with its grounded A380 aircraft.

Qantas had been advised by engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce to perform eight-hour long checks on each of the superjumbo’s engines. Two of these planes, in Sydney and Los Angeles, are being reported to have engine problems and require further inspection.

It was hoped Qantas' six A380s would be back in the air within a few days after Thursday’s incident. The discovery of new issues all but guarantees delays will continue throughout the week.

Qantas has not revealed the nature of what is wrong with the engines. It isn't yet known if the A380 operating as QF32, which made an emergency landing on Thursday after one of its engines exploded, had similar troubles. 

Despite the original prediction of a few days, Qantas now will not give a timeline for when the A380 fleet will be back in the air. 

Thousands of passengers have already been delayed by the groundings. The carrier is utilizing the remainder of its fleet to pick up the slack, and is calling on its codeshare partners for assistance.

Passengers not contacted by Qantas are advised their flights should depart on time.

Qantas has placed the blame on engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce for the incident, deflecting criticism from unions of their overseas maintenance procedures.

Singapore Airlines grounded its A380s on Friday in order to conduct similar inspections on their own Rolls-Royce engines. After finding no significant faults, the fleet of eleven was allowed back in the air. 

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