Engineering Headlines

Really bad engineering, military transporters A400M cracks

Military transport aircraft A400M, Airbus defense and space threatens another disaster. Now, all already delivered machines to the workshops should go back because of fine hairline cracks in the fuselage to replace parts of the fuselage. It should take seven months (per machine). The search has already begun for an alternative to the A400M.

It’s a hairy thing with hairline cracks, especially if the fixtures of the wings of the aircraft are affected by these hairline cracks. It’s Airbus A400M again about problems with the military transporter. On Friday night, the Defense Ministry had informed the Bundestag about that manufacturer would replace Airbus all have delivered machines parts of the fuselage because hairline cracks on the inner Struts.

Because these internal Struts are mounted at a particularly critical point of the transport aircraft. You make the connection of the Central fuselage to the wing with the engines. Airbus itself included at least seven months per machine for this task.

“Soap opera with daily bad news”

The Ministry of Defense acknowledges for the first time in writing in writing to the Federal Parliament to stand not more strongly on the side of Airbus due to the numerous problems with the A400M. It is said in the letter the Ministry have with the “considerations for a may in the medium term the ability gap track embarked”.

In the German Military Forces, the MEPs grief with the A400M are accustomed to. Technical problems occurred in the development of the airplane, until years later than were planned the first machines delivered. The German army received its first A400M end of 2014 with four years late. The reactions are appropriately sarcastic. “Now the news with the A400M are becoming a soap opera with daily bad news”, the Green MEP Tobias Lindner said on Friday evening.


Affected components are manufactured in the Frisian Varel

The now affected components for the Airbus supplier premium Aerotec in Varel in the Jadebusen in Lower Saxony are manufactured. Already, the hairline cracks were discovered on an A400M, who was extradited to France in 2013. There are the so-called “Spante”, ribs made of metal, which stabilize the hull of the giant plane are.

These frames also the wings are fixed with their heavy turbines. The connection points are tabs on the frames, called the “wing attachment frames”. On these plates, made of a special aluminium alloy, fatigue cracks have occurred apparently.

The road series of the A400M will not end

Yes, certainly, is not the first time that the military transport aircraft A400M Airbus shows great weaknesses. In January 2015, the Ministry of defense as a whole listed 161 defects on the A400M. After the crash an A400M in Spain the German Airlines gave the aircraft in may 2015 with a start ban.


Given the now known delays, the SPD’s coalition partners increases the pressure on Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU). “It is now high time that the Minister is determined,” said SPD defense expert Rainer Arnold from the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “We need aircraft of the type C-130J firstly as a replacement for the A400M, which later comes and long can not, what he should. “And secondly as a supplement because the A400M is never can certain things about on small, less heavily fortified slopes land.”

Transall loses the flight permission for five years

The A400M in Gao, where the German Military Forces in the Mali mission is deployed, can be unloaded only on the runway because he is too heavy for the other site, which blocked the railway. The C130J aircraft is a military transport aircraft, the Lockheed Corporation, each over $100 million costs.

The German Military Forces is massively under pressure: the decrepit Transall aircraft urgently need to be retired, in five years they lose their flight permission. With the new delays to the A400M, it will be tight with the replacement.