Third A380 flies as demo tour is postponed
Flight International online news 11:30GMT: The third Airbus A380 development aircraft (MSN002) took to the air yesterday, but the manufacturer has delayed the start of the A380’s forthcoming tour of Asia by three days due concerns over the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines.
Airbus says that two Trent 900 engines are being replaced on A380 MSN001 “as a precautionary measure at the request of Rolls-Royce”.
Two of the engines had already been changed – one a scheduled removal as part of the test programme, and the other following a minor in-flight problem last week.
Airbus says that the work on MSN001 has resulted in a revision to that aircraft’s imminent tour to Asia and Australia.
The A380 is now due to arrive in Singapore three days later than planned, on 11 November, although the schedule of the subsequent tour to Australia remains unchanged.
The aircraft will then visit Kuala Lumpur on 17 November.
Meanwhile MSN002’s maiden sortie yesterday lasted 3h, during which all systems were checked out and the whole flight envelope cleared.
After completion of checks in the coming days, MSN002 will be ferried to Airbus’s Hamburg Finkenwerder plant where it will undergo installation a full cabin interior.
Once completed, MSN002 will undertake the development and certification effort for cabin and cargo systems, and perform the “early long range” flights with representative passenger loads using Airbus staff along with further airport compatibility trials.
Airbus says that the first two A380 test aircraft have completed some 440 flight hours in over 120 flights, and that certification and service entry remain on schedule for the last quarter of 2006.
MAX KINGSLEY-JONES / LONDON
Source: Flight International