November 23, 2010
Here’s some interesting video taken by a passenger aboard the Quantas A380 that had a Trent 900 engine blow shortly after taking off on a flight from Singapore to Sydney on November 4:
And later, the landing:
It turns out that Rolls-Royce, maker of the Trent 900, had been quietly modifying a problem section on newer models of the engine months before this unmodified one suffered the failure seen in the videos.
Now Quantas is looking at replacing 40 of the older engines on the double. After the airline’s six A380s have spent almost three weeks grounded, two are going back into service. When big , expensive airplanes get grounded, their financing commitments don’t follow, which creates some serious drag on an airline’s revenue—the situation is costing Quantas a million dollars a day, some of which they plan to recover from Rolls-Royce.
The engine maker has no shortage of headaches, as its Trent 1000 engine, which powers the Boeing 787, has been experiencing its own teething problems.
But Quantas, Rolls-Royce, and Airbus might have been faced with bigger headaches if there hadn’t been—by chance—five pilots on the A380′s flight deck that day.
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