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Qantas A380 uncontained #2 engine failure

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Qantas A380 uncontained #2 engine failure

Old 8th Nov 2010, 18:49
  #661 (permalink)  
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1. I am used to referring to the two sorts of turbines as Compressor Turbine and Power Turbine. The references to the pressure turbine leaves me a little confused, but I think it means that it was not a power turbine (thrust producing) that failed, but one in the section that compresses the air before ignition. Do I have that interpreted correctly? (Turboshaft are similar to turbofan in that modest detail ... )

2. A few pages back, comment was made that full tanks are less likely to catch fire when hot metal chunk (aforementioned turbine engine disk) tears through fuel tank -- partly full or nearly empty more likely to see air/fuel mix conducive to ignition. While my initial thought on this mishap was "good thing that thing didn't hit the fuel tank," that remark made me think instead "good thing this happened on take off while tanks were full and less air available to start a fire." Caveat: once started, to keep flying speed one ends up, with that torn fuel tank and airflow, flying through a supply of air that makes breaking the fire triangle impossible.

3. Thanks to Morrissey for the eye witness account. Much appreciated. It is far superior to the usual "eyewitness accounts" that one reads in the media:

4. Number 1 engine: will join with chorus who is skeptical of applying wireless technology for shut off valves. That seems to me a solution in search of a problem. The Professional Pilots were able to manage the lift and thrust issues with #1 doing its semi-independent thing, hence there is nothing to fix so long as there are pilots around to deal with such odd occurrences.

5. Airworthiness directive: interesting to learn of that, and the predicted failure modes should remedy not be forthcoming. Will be of interest to see how maintenance and design together come out of the investigation into this.

5a. Find the rumor of scrap unlikely. Any of you recall that big ship that hauled the USS Cole back to Norfolk after bombs hit it? If the three engine ferry isn't viable, why not float it back to France? Yes, special cranes needed and all that. Another thought: why not have the field team from Airbus drop by, determine what needs replacing/repair, and then do the repairs under AB guidance in Sing? Ship in special tooling as needed from France? Considering the immense cost of a 380, seems a better idea than scrap.

6. For all those complaining about the signal to noise ratio in this thread: I sure learned a lot in this thread, so a big thank you to the lot of you.

7. For people complaining about how long it took Captain and Crew to land: seems to me his judgment and decision making was about right. Stunned at the second guessing on debarkation programme. Monday Morning Quarterbacks in this thread look to be playing for the Cowboys ... which this season isn't a compliment.

EDIT to add a question:
Not necessarily. The Qantas engine is modded to make more power than the SIA one.
Is this fact or "conventional wisdom" and how does one know this?
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 19:16
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Somewhere it was posted that QF needed the -972 vs the -970 Trent engine due to the MEL-LAX sector requirements.

MEL 16-34 is 3600+ metres (the longer runway), which they would routinely require for this flight, I can understand, but the longest runway at LAX is only the same length, and with the ave wind component, must be a longer flight time.

Anyway, I am surprised that a reduced/flex thrust could still not be used on any sector with a 3600m+ runway, even at MTOW. One certainly can use reduced thrust on SIN-LHR at 30degC at MTOW on a B747-400 with RB211's.

Personally, I think something QF specific or Trent 972 specific will emerge here as the problem, either operational or related to the associated rpms - remember the RB211-524G/H problems that caused issues on the B767-300ER but not the B747-400 at around 1300 cycles? . That drove engine swaps at BA from the B767 to the inboard B747-400 positions at circa 1000 cycles.

History repeating itself? We shall see.
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 19:27
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Trent 970 and Trent 972

One other possibility that might have a bearing (sorry about the potential pun).

Anyone know whether QF use a synthetic aviation turbine oil supplier different from Singapore and Lufthansa? I assume that the engine is cleared for all the usual suspects...
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 19:43
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Well, pending an AD to require it, derating would be a good idea anyway. So much for "buying Thrust". Harmonic (acoustic) vibration came up on the BA038 thread, as a potential source of foaming, or vapor, Lock (and cavitation). As far as anyone knows, the face sheet trimback solved the problem? Was the TRENT 700 also derated, wasn't TOGA applied, or just a goose to extend the Glide?

Old 8th Nov 2010, 19:50
  #665 (permalink)  
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The Qantas engine is modded to make more power than the SIA one

Lonewolf 50.

It is highly unlikely that there is a physical difference between the engines.

Software can allow more thrust, but the metal parts are almost certainly the same.
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 19:58
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Maybe the erm...Oil Lines should be erm....different?
Old 8th Nov 2010, 20:04
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Statement from RR

This afternoon, RR made a statement that seems to help us along the straight and narrow, the key parts being that the 'problem' is specific to the Trent 900 and that there is no link to the Trent 1000 development-test failure. As usual, some reading between the lines suggests this thread might be on the right lines - here and there.

As for patents, best I can tell RR is the company with the valid patent and P&W is the company that may have a problem. That either would want to disrupt the B787 or any other programme is extremely doubtful, in my view.
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 20:09
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I think the potential harm to the already delayed program was considered, and thought to be "collateral damage". There is no "after you, Sir" in this business.
Old 8th Nov 2010, 20:13
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Anyone with an idea of how many Trent 900 are available around the world to be used by Qantas ? Apparently form article linked by AIMINGHIGH123 they only have two available at the time being...
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 20:15
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DevX in Post #613 made the following point:-
... R-R simply use a DEP (Data Entry Plug) to alter the rating of their engines. Also, the correct description for the unit in question is 'EEC', not 'FADEC', check the ser.no. plate on a unit next time you come across one.
His location and the manner of his statement leads me to suspect that he knows what he is talking about.

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Old 8th Nov 2010, 20:26
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Don't know how to do quotes from earlier posts but ILS27LEFT at post #620 quoted EASA AD No.: 2010-0008R1 04 AUG 2010 including the passage:-

"Rearward movement of the IP turbine would enable contact with static
turbine components and would result in loss of engine performance with
potential for in-flight shut down, oil migration and oil fire below the LP
turbine discs prior to sufficient indication resulting in loss of LP turbine disc integrity."

Gotta love that jargon! Presumably "loss of LP turbine disc integrity" could, with a lot of bad luck, lead to an "unscheduled negative outcome airframe-terrain contact scenario".

didn't even take my coat off ...
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 20:35
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Just looking at scheduled sector times in the QF timetable it appears that, compared with SIN-LHR, LAX-SYD is one hour longer and LAX-MEL is 1.5 hours longer.

Of course these are average times and the flight plan differences on the day may be something else. The point about the comparison is that SIN-LHR appears to be the longest SQ A380 sector. This means QF are operating two sectors that are significantly longer than the other Trent A380 operators. With that come the implications of greater fuel requirement and potentially higher take off weights.

Of course we donít know the traffic loads and hence the actual take off weights on these routes. But we can at least see the potential need for a higher thrust rating for the QF aircraft.

Whether the higher thrust levels available are actually used and how often could be an issue. I imagine all that data is available and is being analysed right now.

Last edited by Tagron; 9th Nov 2010 at 08:14.
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 20:40
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mm43, speaking of DevX:
His location and the manner of his statement leads me to suspect that he knows what he is talking about.
The rating plug's pretty much an industry standard for FADEC/EEC engines.
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 21:08
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Question RR Statement

Trent 900 statement - Rolls-Royce

...The Trent 900 incident is the first of its kind to occur on a large civil Rolls-Royce engine since 1994...
They do not claim there was no uncontained engine failure since 1994 with RR engines?
Any knowledgeable turbofan historian here who knows what failure type they may be talking about?
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 21:12
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blah blah blah

they blew an engine, pieces damaged parts of the plane reducing certain systems, plane landed safely thanks to crew.

investigate, change design as needed, repair and start flying again...try to learn something from it .

me, I still prefer P&W, Douglas, Boeing, and Lockheed over the bus.
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 21:33
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I just searched flightglobal.com, Qantas gets lots of press coverage.

Qantas speeds up RB211 programme

This was just one of them, strange that 3 events on one aircraft ???

A previous poster has mentioned about which type of oil used on engines, I seem to remember a long time ago, that some engine type/oil type mix perform better than others, I think they mentioned on some engines a bad mix could make carbon deposits where carbon deposits are not wanted, poss effect on oil flow/temp/pressure etc etc, the V2500 back end comes to mind, but can't remember where/when I read it.
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 21:42
  #677 (permalink)  
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Whilst I don't always agree with the posts of PTH, in this case I think he has a bit of a point.

Going back to my days as an F/E in the 70's on the 747 the worlds airports were littered with 747's waiting for replacement engines - the failure rate on the early P&W's was appalling - 'tis often been said that the engine and aircraft would not have been certificated under todays compliance standards. Sometimes the engines failed spectacularly (like this RR Trent), sometimes they just failed - whatever the result was the same and we just got on with it. The press somehow were just not that interested.

What we can be sure of is that the 'A180' will continue to operate with RR Trents into the foreseeable future.

It is a bit of a 'no story' in my opinion.

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Old 8th Nov 2010, 22:06
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Qantas doesn't own or service the engines. RR does both of those things and leases them to QF by the hour.

Therefore, unless gross mismanagment of basic line servicing is suspected, then it seems hard to pin the blame on QF. As far as the other airlines are concerned, Lufthansa has one brand new aircraft, and can anybody really claim that Singapore airlines would be totally upfront if it discovered a similar problem?
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 22:13
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I generally agree with PTH, but this time, I disagree. For good or ill, and for whatever reason, there is a good deal more attention paid now to aviation records, accidents, pilots, etc. Though mostly lamentable, there are some benefits. Had the industry maintained its integrity, its pilots in top form, and equipment at full and smooth chat, then no harm, no foul. However. We are constantly presented with degradation at every turn, some of it having direct influence on safety. This is not good. The traditional "vacuum" of news from FAA, owners, operators, and pilots was fine, when standards were self enforced. At this point, some carriers require the watchful eye of the public interested folk, such as here, and elsewhere. Money is never a substitute for life and limb; right, wrong, or indifferent, eh?

rgds. Bear
Old 8th Nov 2010, 22:36
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Somewhere it was posted that QF needed the -972 vs the -970 Trent engine due to the MEL-LAX sector requirements.
While my information is old and based on another airline, LAX-SYD on 747-400 was always a long stretch. These flights were often weight (load) restricted due to fuel requirements and at times that meant not only leaving freight behind, but leaving passengers behind. (Was a worry when you were waiting to go standby!) You could be sure that nearly every flight leaving LAX for SYD was at MTOW.

LAX-MEL is even further. No doubt the A380 is very heavy leaving LAX and probably needs the 972. Qantas did run this on a 747-400 for a while with what I believer were major weight restriction issues. Even then many times it diverted.
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