Structure scrutinized in Airbus crash

 - May 22, 2008, 5:52 AM

The NTSB is examing the structural integrity of the all-composite tail of the Airbus A300-600 that crashed November 12 after liftoff from New York JFK Airport. During an encounter with wake turbulence, the tail of the twin-engine airliner tore away virtually intact. Today’s business jets use a wide variety of composite parts, including Raytheon Aircraft, whose Premier I has an all-composite fuselage. The Premier I also uses composites in the fins, but in the external skins only, said Raytheon. “The main load path from the tail to the fuselage is through internal aluminum spars. These extend from the tail down inside the fuselage and are bolted to aluminum bulkheads which are, in turn, fastened to the inside of the fuselage.”