Luisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7020 times:
Apparently it has something to do with the quality of the aluminum that Airbus uses, to avoid corrosion they need to be primed. When AA ordered the A300 they had a huge fight with Airbus over the painting, because Airbus refused to warranty the airplanes unless they were painted and these airplanes are leased, not owned by AA, so AA had to paint them grey. Finally AA found a way to apply some sort of clear coat to the metal and keep the buffed aluminum look
BTW, this is what I remember from an old Airways Magazine article, I may be wrong so feel free to correct me if I am.
EMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9362 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6842 times:
Quoting Luisca (Reply 1): Apparently it has something to do with the quality of the aluminum that Airbus uses, to avoid corrosion they need to be primed.
It actually has to do with European manufacturing processes. For some reason European metal manufactures do not produce Alclad Aluminum. As a result the sheet stock must be treated with a process called 'Bonded Primer'. This is a chemical treatment that is applied to the sheet stock and can not be removed. This is what gives new Airbus aircraft that copper-green look. The same holds true with Airbus, ATR and Saab. All use the same process. Just ask any Saab operator about the AD that is out on this issue. Several Saabs have been scrapped because paint shops have sanded off the bonded primer and the skin has corroded.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
AA777223 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1192 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6511 times:
I cannot seem to get past this thought. Was the A300 not like incredibly advanced for its day, a Lockeheed L-1011, of sorts? There seems to be a fair amount of composite in the construction ( I know, no where near the 787, A350, or 777 for that matter, but still alot for the time). I know it was the first widebody twin ever produced. It just fascinates me. I don't particularly enjoy flying on them, and I have on several occasions, but I simply seem to think it had to be quite an acheivement. Am I way off base? comments please. Also, how has the line survived in light of the advent of the A330? I know its smaller, but it doesn't seem by much, and it certainly isn't in the same class of advancement.
FlyDreamliner From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2759 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6400 times:
It was very ahead of its time, it completely changed the industry. They pioneered a number of things. I think they made AA suspicious of composites though - when the tail off one of their A300s snapped off......
"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
NAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9901 posts, RR: 37
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6348 times:
Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 4): I think they made AA suspicious of composites though - when the tail off one of their A300s snapped off......
Just for the record, FlyDreamliner; thankfully, at long last, the troubling matter of composite 'tails' (it was actually rudders, and, in the case of AA587, both rudder and fin) breaking off looks as if it is on the way to being solved.
The NTSB, from evidence gathered from inspection of a damaged Fedex rudder and also progress in investigating the broken Air Transat rudder last year, seems to have concluded that the likely cause was NOT the basic design, or the use of composites per se, but contamination by hydraulic fluid penetrating the rudder core and causing disbonding. It also found that rudder 'flutter' as the rudder(s) broke off could be severe enough to break the fin (vertical stabiliser) off as well.
"Upon landing at Varadero, the crew discovered that most of the airplane’s rudder had separated in flight with only the bottom closing rib and the spar between the rib and the hydraulic actuators remaining. Further examination of the vertical stabilizer determined that its two rearmost attachment lugs were damaged due to the high stresses associated with the rudder failure and separation.4 These high stresses may have been dangerously close in magnitude to those that caused the in-flight separation of the vertical stabilizer during the November 12, 2001, accident involving American Airlines flight 587."
Apparently this problem can only arise with certain early-model A300/310s/A330s/A340s which have holes drilled through the rudder to accommodate fixing rivets.
"Airbus identifies the configuration by which the rudder skin panels were attached to the front spar on some A300s and A310s, including the incident airplane, as premodification 8827. In this configuration, rivets penetrate the rudder’s honeycomb core to join the rudder skin panels to the front spar. This configuration is identified as premodification 40904 when used on A330s or A340s."
Urgent inspections have been ordered on the relevant aircraft and the inspectors will now know exactly what to look for. So, hopefully, there will be no more incidents of this kind. And composite construction, as such, is 'in the clear'.
Jonathan-l From France, joined Mar 2002, 501 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6230 times:
Quoting AA777223 (Reply 3): Also, how has the line survived in light of the advent of the A330?
Thanks to the freighter. The freighter version was launched in 1991 and secured over 100 orders in that timeframe, which enabled the line to remain open 5 years beyond the last pasenger aircraft order.
Sevenforeseven From France, joined Nov 2005, 164 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4907 times:
The reason AA airbus were primed in white and not the mettalic finish wre waranty issues. Airbus would not give AA waranty unless the bare skin was protected. When the warrenty period expired AA removed the paint and went with their standard colour scheme. The areas which remain white primer are indeed composite structures.
Hope this clarifies.
B6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2830 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3920 times:
Wow, I am not a fan of the bare metal c/s but I cannot believe how horrible the AA c/s looked without it. That color grey with the r/w/b stripe almost makes it look like a military aircraft! Great topic Airbus A346!
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"