More Woes for the A400M

SHAH ALAM: GERMAN media are reporting that further delivery of the Airbus A400M air-lifter to the country’s air force will be delayed due to engine faults. It is probably the reason RMAF third A400M – M54-03 – delivery is also looking doubtful.

RMAF chief Tan Sri Roslan Saad when met at the Starstreak firing last week said the delivery date of 03 has yet to be confirmed. He said the aircraft was still conducting test flights at the Airbus Defence and Space facility in Seville, Spain.

Roslan flew with the A400M to Johor together with Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein for the Starstreak firing exercise.

Hishammuddin (centre) preparing to board A400M M54-01 for Johor, on March 28, 2016 for the Starstreak firings. Twitter PTL.
Hishammuddin (centre) preparing to board A400M M54-01 for Johor, on March 28, 2016 for the Starstreak firings. Twitter PTL.

Both the minister and RMAF chief had stated previously that the third A400M was scheduled to be delivered in April. However, as today is the only fifth day of April, Airbus, still has 25 days to make good on the delivery.

It is likely that the two A400M delivered to RMAF had undergone checks to ensure the problems as reported are sorted out.

The problems reported are:

“Two separate problems have been identified in the gear boxes, requiring the aircraft to undergo regular inspections and to have parts replaced if necessary, Airbus told Reuters April 1.

One issue was with the material structure and strength of the ring gear in about 14 gear boxes produced in the first half of 2015.

The other problem was cracking of a plug that could see small parts of metal released into the oil system of the gearbox, affecting gear boxes that rotate to the right.”

From DW.

” The “Bild” newspaper reported that parts of the propeller engines could not cope with extreme temperatures and that individual parts of the engine were found to have “material flaws.” The newspaper also claimed that one engine on a British A400M had cut out during a flight, though this had not yet happened to the three planes already owned by Germany’s air force.

The Defense Ministry confirmed the report on Friday. “Yes, it’s true that the airplane manufacturer has found problems with the propeller engine,” a spokeswoman for the ministry told the Reuters news agency before adding that the Italian company that manufactures the engines for Airbus was analyzing the problems and that Airbus had offered to repair the engines free of charge.”

For the full story go herA400Me

A Luftwaffe A400M Atlas undergoing checks prior to delivery in late 2015.
A Luftwaffe A400M Atlas undergoing checks prior to delivery in late 2015.

From DPA
“An Airbus spokeswoman told Germany’s dpa wire service April 1 that the problems outlined in the report of abrasive wear and heat resistance in the plane‘s engines are “essentially correct.”

Two separate problems have been identified in the gear boxes, requiring the aircraft to undergo regular inspections and to have parts replaced if necessary, Airbus told Reuters April 1.

One issue was with the material structure and strength of the ring gear in about 14 gear boxes produced in the first half of 2015.

The other problem was cracking of a plug that could see small parts of metal released into the oil system of the gearbox, affecting gear boxes that rotate to the right.

However, Airbus stressed that the aircraft, which have four propeller engines, can fly normally.
The Airbus spokeswoman told dpa that the heat resistance issue had already been solved, and that Airbus was “working hard” to solve the second problem. “It has no impact on the security of the plane. The problem can be solved during regular engine inspections,” the spokeswoman said.

“This isn’t good news,” German Defense Ministry spokesman Boris Nannt told Bloomberg News in Berlin Friday. Airbus discovered issues with the transmission, prompting European air-safety regulators to order additional precautionary measures and a search for the cause by the component’s manufacturer, Italy-based Avio Aero, he said.

Bloomberg also quoted Fernando Alonso, Airbus’s military aircraft chief, as saying in a statement he’s confident the engine and transmission suppliers can fix the issue in time to meet a goal of delivering 20 A400Ms in 2016. Nannt said that wasn’t certain.

— Malaysian Defence

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