Qantas A380 repairs added less weight than expected to aircraft

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Repairs to the Qantas Airways Airbus A380 that had an uncontained engine failure in November 2010 added only 94kg to the weight of the aircraft.

This was far less than originally anticipated, says Airbus, with the airframer and Australia's flag carrier agreeing at the start of the project that the "weight impact" of the repairs would not exceed 250kg.

Earlier reports by Flightglobal Pro had put the additional weight at 200kg, but Airbus clarifies that the actual weight added to the aircraft was far less at 94kg.

"This was achieved due to 'as-new' replacement parts being used wherever possible. This very small additional weight impact was a considerable achievement," adds Airbus.

The overall performance of the aircraft, including its range and efficiency, is unlikely to be affected by the additional weight, says Airbus.

The aircraft, which has the registration VH-OQA, had a mid-air uncontained engine failure after take-off from Singapore in November 2010. Repairs were completed in April, and the aircraft returned to Sydney on 22 April.

Australian investigators have finished collecting data for an investigation into the uncontained failure of the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine. The data is being analysed and a final report is expected in the third quarter of 2012.

So far, the investigations identified a defect in an oil feed tube as the cause behind an oil fire, which led to the engine failure. The defect caused a section of the oil tube to thin out and crack, leading to an internal engine oil fire that weakened the intermediate pressure turbine disc. This was then separated from the turbine shaft, puncturing the engine case and wing structure.