The Airbus A380 has had its share of problems both before and since deliveries began in late 2007. On the same day last week, Tuesday, two airlines suffered flight-terminating mechanical problems with the world’s largest passenger airliner.
A Singapore Airlines A380 was about three hours into a flight when the number-three engine developed an airflow problem, prompting a return to Singapore, where the jetliner landed safely. A China Southern A380 experienced a cabin pressurization problem and returned to Beijing. No injuries were reported on either aircraft.
Both of these aircraft are equipped with the same Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines that caused a Qantas A380 to return to Singapore in November 2010. In the Qantas incident, the engine came apart in flight, sending shrapnel through various parts of the aircraft’s left wing. The Qantas crew managed to land the aircraft safely despite a number of system failures. Qantas quickly grounded its entire A380 fleet until the problem was resolved.
Earlier this year, inspections were ordered for all 68 A380s delivered after discovery of cracks in wing ribs.