Rolls Royce kept Airbus and Qantas in the dark about two key engine modifications

The CEO of Qantas has revealed that when the Trent 900 engine failed on QF32, shrapnel from the exploding engine narrowly missed the wing fuel tank which could have caused the plane to explode. The Sydney Morning Herald:

SHRAPNEL from the engine explosion on Qantas QF32 severed a fuel pipe and narrowly missed the wing’s fuel tank, according to official preliminary reports. The chief executive, Alan Joyce, also confirmed yesterday that as many as 40 Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines fitted to A380 superjumbos worldwide might have to be replaced.

The reports, seen by theĀ Herald, of the damage incurred on November 4 reveal the extent to which metal components tore through the wing. The debris severed wiring looms, chopping a main fuel pipe, puncturing structural spars and ribs and punching through wing surface panels.

Qantas was ”very, very lucky” that thousands of litres of highly flammable jet fuel in the wings did not ignite from the ruptured fuel pipe or from a spark from severed wiring, said Adrian Mouritz, the head of aerospace and aviation engineering at RMIT University. ”If that fuel ignited, that aircraft would have exploded,” he said.

Qantas and Rolls-Royce are still ”days away” from identifying which engines might have to be replaced. The engine maker had kept the airline and Airbus in the dark about two series of production changes to the engine’s internals.

”What Rolls-Royce have done is that they have modified certain parts of this engine. We and Airbus were not aware of it,” Mr Joyce said.

Further extracts from the official reports and pictures of the damage from

damage 01

Damage to the wing of QF32


The questions for Rolls Royce are multiplying and their lack of communications is astounding. Not only, it seems, did Rolls Royce know about the risks of engine failure before the Trent 900 exploded on QF32, but they have also modified the engine and quietly started introducing the modifications without Qantas and Airbus being aware of the significance or the risks with the unmodified engines!!!!!

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One Response to “Rolls Royce kept Airbus and Qantas in the dark about two key engine modifications”

  1. What did Rolls Royce know and when? « The k2p blog Says:

    […] executive of Qantas, meanwhile, said Rolls-Royce had made modifications to the Trent 900 engine without telling the airline or Airbus, which makes the A380 […]

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