Airbus to reinforce part of A380 wing after March static test rupture

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By Andrew Doyle in Berlin

Manufacturer to add strips to stringers after test rupture 

Airbus has briefed A380 customers on the wing modifications it is making as a result of the premature rupture of the static test specimen in March at 1.45 times limit load.

The manufacturer plans to retrofit reinforcements to certain stringers in aircraft that have already been built and produce modified components for subsequent wings, said Airbus chief operating officer and A380 programme head Charles Champion at last week’s ILA air show in Berlin.

“Our conclusion is that we are going to add a few strips on some stringers in the wing in the area involved,” he said. The strips will be fitted on top of the stringers to “increase the resistance of the stringers at the limit [load]”. The proposed changes have been submitted to the European Aviation Safety Agency for approval.

A380 product marketing director Richard Carcaillet says the modifications to already-built wings will add 30kg (66lb) of airframe weight, comprising 16kg for the reinforcement strips and 14kg for the attachment bolts.

The wing of the A380 static test specimen suffered a rupture below the ultimate-load certification requirement of 150% of limit load during trials in Toulouse.