Airbus has announced that a solution has been found to repair cracked wings on its A380 aircraft, itv.com reports.
The A380 Aircraft
There may have been a few less A380s on the flight radar of late, owing to the fault, which was discovered in January. An internal inspection found two types of cracks in the wing brackets, which ‘connect the internal structure of the A380 wings with the outer skin’ according to bbc.co.uk.
While Airbus asserted that the planes were still ‘safe to fly’, an investigation was carried out. The entire fleet was also inspected by the European Aviation Safety Agency.
Airbus executive vice president, Tom Williams, speaking from the company’s Toulouse headquarters, admitted that the ’embarrassing’ fault was due to the wrong choice of material for the brackets. He was keen to point out that this in no way reflected the work of employees in Broughton, where the wings are constructed.
He added that a solution had been discovered “from a design point of view” which required practical testing:
“We are now in a situation that by the end of the year we will have a good fix, but keeping in mind the lag it will be well into 2014 before you see aircraft going through the production system that is completely clean.”
Production of the A380
While production of the A380 did slow due to the problem, it has now returned to normal, with orders numbering some 250 aircraft to fulfill.