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Airbus Plans To Comply With FAA Rules On Fuel Tank  
User currently offlineGaut From Belgium, joined Dec 2001, 344 posts, RR: 2
Posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5283 times:

After two topics concerning the subject for a total of 232 replies, I think the Airbus's answer could interest some of us....

Airbus plans to comply with FAA rules on fuel tanks
John K. Lauber, Senior Vice President --- Product Safety, Airbus - Toulouse, France


Airbus plans to comply with FAA rules on fuel tanks USA TODAY's front-page article about fuel tank inerting, a procedure to prevent explosions, and the Airbus A380 is misleading and based on a dubious premise ("Giant jet sets off fuel tank concerns," News, Dec. 13).

The story quotes two retired safety officials expressing concern that the A380 would be "exempt" from proposed federal rules for aircraft fuel tanks. The officials --- and USA TODAY readers --- should know that the A380 already would comply with the proposed rules.

The proposed rules include means of assessing flammability of fuel tanks (based on such factors as the average time the tanks are empty), and Airbus has performed the calculations for the A380. The results demonstrate the A380 does not fall into the category of aircraft for which fuel tank inerting would be required (according to the proposed Federal Aviation Administration rules). This is possible because of the low fuel tank flammability already designed into the aircraft.

Once a final version of such FAA rules takes effect, Airbus will be pleased to comply with them --- as we do with all FAA regulations.

No commercial aircraft in history has been more thoroughly and rigorously tested than the A380, and Airbus' commitment and attention to safety are unsurpassed in the industry. For USA TODAY to suggest the contrary --- especially in a piece that cites opinions based on incomplete facts and questionable assumptions --- misinforms the traveling public. Your readers deserve better.

Source:USATODAY.com

A-380 Exempt From US Fuel Tank Safety Rules? Posted by KC135TopBoom on Wednesday December 13, 2006 at 15:36

A380 Exempt From US Fuel Tank Safety II Posted by ANCFlyer on Wednesday December 20, 2006 at 13:11


«Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae.»
16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21511 posts, RR: 60
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5239 times:

Was this a letter to the editor, or what?

And it confirms that Airbus does not think the A380 needs inerting systems. The two FAA officials (retired) disagree.

So, what exactly does this statement say other than: we at Airbus stand by our belief that we are right and others are wrong?

Isn't that the same stand they have taken on a lot of issues with the A380?



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineDAYflyer From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 3807 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5163 times:

They should play ball with the FAA. To do otherwise is very risky indeed.


One Nation Under God
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21511 posts, RR: 60
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5138 times:

And by the way, the thread title is misleading.

Airbus does not "plan" to comply. They claim they already comply, and do not plan on doing anything more.

Please change the title to something like: "Airbus says A380 already compliant with new FAA fuel tank rules" or something similar.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10008 posts, RR: 96
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5095 times:
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Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
we at Airbus stand by our belief that we are right and others are wrong?

They say they intend to comply with FAA regulations. Where in the statement do they say that FAA regulations are "wrong". If the FAA regulations aren't "wrong", and Airbus intend to coply with them, who else's opinion matters?

Quoting DAYflyer (Reply 2):
They should play ball with the FAA



Quoting Gaut (Thread starter):
Once a final version of such FAA rules takes effect, Airbus will be pleased to comply with them --- as we do with all FAA regulations.

Sounds to me like that is exactly what they intend to do  checkmark .

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 3):
And by the way, the thread title is misleading.

The thread title is taken directly from the linked article, which is an exceedingly standard Airliners.net modus operandi.
I suggest you take it up with USA TODAY, and leave the thread-starter in peace. He's done nothing wrong


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9031 posts, RR: 75
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5092 times:

Ikramerica,

I agree.

The rules as they exist at this very time, the A380 complies with. The new rules, when they come in (either next year or the year after, or the year after, or the year after {taken about 8 years so far}), the A380 already complies with. It has been made "future proof".

I made a similar comment in the "A-380 Exempt From US Fuel Tank Safety Rules?" saying that the thread title was misleading.

Down the track with a A380LR or A380CJ with the addition of a centre fuel tank (all fuel now is in the wings), the issue will need to be addressed at that stage again to comply with the rules with a change of the fuel system.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21511 posts, RR: 60
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5022 times:

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 4):
The thread title is taken directly from the linked article, which is an exceedingly standard Airliners.net modus operandi.

Then it should be put in QUOTES, which is actually "standard Airliners.net modus operandi"

You are an engineer man, you should know that the details are important!  Wink

Anyway, I don't take PR statements from OpEd sections as law, so I don't think quoting the PR guy is valid for a thread title. That's just propogating his claim, not the reality of what he is saying. What he is saying is that "Airbus already complies and we won't do anything unless the FAA proves we must."

And they could be right! I'm not saying they aren't. But the spokeshole is making it sound like Airbus is making some kind of change, when they are not. They are going to wait for the FAA to bitch some more and if they don't, wait many years. What happens if, at that time, the A380 is determined to require the system. Would kind of make Airbus look like a penny pinching company that doesn't think the law applies to them. Which is of course how most companies feel, but they aren't as public about it...  Wink

Kind of goes back to your earlier claim of "erring on the side of safety." Once again, Airbus is demonstrating that they do not err on the side of safety, because they are saying that if the FAA says they need to do more, they will, otherwise they won't. Erring on the side of safety would be agreeing to add inerting systems to the A380 now with the understanding that future birds may not need it and then reevaluating when the final FAA rules come out. Those are polar opposite positions...

And BTW, I don't ever expect the A380 to ever blow up, with or without the system. But I also don't expect that any 777 was going to blow up either nor any other modern design (all explosions were from previous generation aircraft), but Boeing is complying just the same, erring on the side of safety even though the FAA hasn't completed the rule...



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlinePanAmOldDC8 From Barbados, joined Dec 2006, 960 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5009 times:

Quoting Gaut (Thread starter):
Airbus plans to comply with FAA rules on fuel tanks
John K. Lauber, Senior Vice President --- Product Safety, Airbus - Toulouse, France

That is the way to go, not one rule for one and something for someone else. However having said that this reminds me of the Concorde debate many years ago in the US, which incidentally killed the Concorde (re noise). Not saying that that will apply here, but just wondering



Barbados, CWC soon, can't wait
User currently offlineKhobar From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2379 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4961 times:

"The proposed rules include means of assessing flammability of fuel tanks (based on such factors as the average time the tanks are empty), and Airbus has performed the calculations for the A380. The results demonstrate the A380 does not fall into the category of aircraft for which fuel tank inerting would be required (according to the proposed Federal Aviation Administration rules). This is possible because of the low fuel tank flammability already designed into the aircraft."

The first line above indicates that Airbus is already compliant with one of the parameters - assessing flammability of fuel tanks based on various factors including average time the tanks are empty. "The results demonstrate the A380 does not fall into the category of aircraft for which fuel tank inerting would be required (according to the proposed FAA rules)" for this particular parameter. One presumes there are other parameters Airbus is yet to be compliant with based on their comment that they will comply.


User currently offlineElectech6299 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 616 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4769 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 6):
Airbus is demonstrating that they do not err on the side of safety, because they are saying that if the FAA says they need to do more, they will, otherwise they won't.

I usually agree with you, but in this case I don't think I can. How many Boeing jets do not require inerting systems based on the proposed FAA criteria? Is Boeing fitting them with the said systems, even though they won't require them? What about other Airbus products? How many of them require inerting systems? If it's all or none, then this is irrelevant, but if some do and others don't, should the ones that don't be fitted with them anyway?

That's like saying that 2-seat convertible sport cars should be fitted with roll-over protection systems because SUVs are required to have them. (Maybe that's a bad analogy, but there are many others possible...)

Quoting Khobar (Reply 8):
The first line above indicates that Airbus is already compliant with one of the parameters - assessing flammability of fuel tanks based on various factors including average time the tanks are empty. "The results demonstrate the A380 does not fall into the category of aircraft for which fuel tank inerting would be required (according to the proposed FAA rules)" for this particular parameter. One presumes there are other parameters Airbus is yet to be compliant with based on their comment that they will comply.

While press reports can be misleading, your interpretation here would be grossly untrue. Nowhere does the press report say "for this particular parameter". But the report does say "The proposed rules include means of assessing flammability of fuel tanks..., and Airbus has performed the calculations for the A380. The results demonstrate the A380 does not fall into the category of aircraft for which fuel tank inerting would be required according to the proposed Federal Aviation Administration rules. It does not say "according to one rule", or "some of the rules", it says the A380 complies with "the rules" as they exist today. In modern English, "complies with the rules" refers to all of the rules. If this is true, then Airbus has nothing left to say. If this is not true, and Airbus is either not in compliance and falsely saying they are, or Airbus interprets the rules differently than the FAA (in which case they have more work to do to prove compliance or retrofit the A380.)

Personally, I don't think that Airbus would be so brazen as to claim the A380 meets the FAA criteria when it actually doesn't. That would makie for some really bad press down the road...



Send not to know for whom the bell tolls...it tolls for thee
User currently offlineKhobar From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2379 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4718 times:

Quoting Electech6299 (Reply 9):
While press reports can be misleading, your interpretation here would be grossly untrue. Nowhere does the press report say "for this particular parameter". But the report does say "The proposed rules include means of assessing flammability of fuel tanks..., and Airbus has performed the calculations for the A380. The results demonstrate the A380 does not fall into the category of aircraft for which fuel tank inerting would be required according to the proposed Federal Aviation Administration rules. It does not say "according to one rule", or "some of the rules", it says the A380 complies with "the rules" as they exist today. In modern English, "complies with the rules" refers to all of the rules. If this is true, then Airbus has nothing left to say. If this is not true, and Airbus is either not in compliance and falsely saying they are, or Airbus interprets the rules differently than the FAA (in which case they have more work to do to prove compliance or retrofit the A380.)

When Airbus says "the results demonstrated the A380 does not fall into the category of aircraft for which fuel tank inerting would be required according to the proposed FAA rules," what results do you think Airbus is referring to? Clearly they are referring to the one parameter they mentioned, the "means of assessing flammability of fuel tanks when empty."

The word "include" means there are other parameters, but Airbus has focused on only one here (as I mentioned) to both suggest the A380 is compliant and to point fingers at USAToday for being misleading.

Airbus is claiming the A380 is compliant because it would be exempt from the proposed rules as evidenced by their claim, "the A380 does not fall into the category of aircraft for which fuel tank inerting would be required according to the proposed FAA rules."

A smart move, actually.


User currently offlineLeelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4627 times:

IMO, this comment offered by a USA Today reader in response to Mr. Lauber's "letter to the editor" is quite interesting:

Quote:
"No commercial aircraft in history has been more thoroughly and rigorously tested than the A380" [quoting John K. Lauber, Senior Vice President — Product Safety, Airbus - Toulouse, France]

Not only is this statement arguable, but robust testing cannot compensate for a poor design philosophy. A preventable error such as the harness routing on the A380 is an independent issue from rigor of testing, but it raises a major question as to how Airbus manages a programme and orchestrates an aircraft as a system.

Assuming the NTSB was correct in their investigation and conclusion of the cause and in-tank ignition source of the TWA 800 explosion, it would lend itself to the argument that the thoroughness and rigour of testing would not have prevented the condition which is assumed to have caused the accident. After all, aircraft were developed with a given philosophy regarding isolation of potential ignition sources outside the fuel tank, but not with consideration of neutralizing the potentially flammable conditions within the tank. However, an inerting system might have prevented the accident, which is the intent of the FAA regulation.

In short: why is Airbus so resistant to this change in regulation, given the knowledge the industry has had since before launch of A380 that an interting requirement might come to pass from the FAA? Again, the fact this change was ignored and is now being fought suggests a critical disparity in the design philosophies at Boeing and Airbus.


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9031 posts, RR: 75
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4605 times:

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 11):
In short: why is Airbus so resistant to this change in regulation, given the knowledge the industry has had since before launch of A380 that an interting requirement might come to pass from the FAA? Again, the fact this change was ignored and is now being fought suggests a critical disparity in the design philosophies at Boeing and Airbus.

A poorly informed reader.

To my knowledge 13 Boeing transport aircraft have had fuel tank explosions since 1963, killing close to 500 people.

I would still like to know why the uninformed people in the USA have not asked questions of Boeing when it has been known since 1963 that their centre wing tank design is flawed.

from http://www.b737.org.uk/thai737news.htm

That is what USA groups said in 2001 when the 737 and 747 were under the spotlight.

Quote:
12 Aug 2001 - Safety advocates slam industry analysis of jet fuel tanks - USA Today Washington

Consumer and safety advocates Wednesday attacked an aviation industry report about fuel tank safety as biased and unfair. The report concluded that injecting non-flammable gas in jet fuel tanks to prevent explosions is too expensive. In a contentious meeting, the Federal Aviation Administration's advisory panel on the feasibility of requiring inert gas in fuel tanks voted to receive the report. Inert gases are non-flammable gases that prevent fuel vapors from exploding. The panel gave itself 90 days to decide whether the report needs to be changed.

When the A380 is under the spotlight, the tune they sing changes.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineHaggis79 From Germany, joined Jun 2006, 1096 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4474 times:

in this whole discussion, I'd find it interesting to know which of the newly developed planes from both Boeing and Airbus (77W, 77L, 748, 345, 346, 787, 350, 380?) are fitted with a fuel tank inerting system and which aren't? Which ones of the old desings are changed such that newly delivered a/c are fitted with the system and for which lines of existing planes are modifications planned?


300 310 319/20/21 332/3 343 AT4/7 143 B19 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 742/4 752/3 763/4 77E/W CR2/7/9 D95 E45/70 F50 F70 100 M11 M90
User currently offlineRSBJ From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 8 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4187 times:

In our 737's that have the inerting system, the Zero Fuel Weight is 600 pounds higher than any other 737-700W. I can't help but wonder if Airbus is reluctant to add this system to the 380 because, on that scale, it would have to add a lot more than that.


I fly really fast and take a lot of chances.
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9031 posts, RR: 75
Reply 15, posted (7 years 8 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4142 times:

Quoting RSBJ (Reply 14):
In our 737's that have the inerting system, the Zero Fuel Weight is 600 pounds higher than any other 737-700W. I can't help but wonder if Airbus is reluctant to add this system to the 380 because, on that scale, it would have to add a lot more than that.

Which tanks have inerting ?



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineElectech6299 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 616 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (7 years 8 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3993 times:

Quoting Khobar (Reply 10):
Clearly they are referring to the one parameter they mentioned, the "means of assessing flammability of fuel tanks when empty."

No, that is not correct. That is not clear. For that to be clear, the sentence would have to be written "One of the factors in assessing flammability is the time the tanks are empty, and the Airbus A380 meets this factor." If they said "meets these factors", the sentence would be grammatically incorrect, because the sentence refers to only one factor. The statement clearly means that the A380 meets the FAA criteria, not one criterion.

Quoting Khobar (Reply 10):
Airbus is claiming the A380 is compliant because it would be exempt from the proposed rules as evidenced by their claim, "the A380 does not fall into the category of aircraft for which fuel tank inerting would be required according to the proposed FAA rules."

Exactly, but evidenced not only by their claim, but by the analysis they have performed in accordance with the FAA criteria.

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 11):
In short: why is Airbus so resistant to this change in regulation, given the knowledge the industry has had since before launch of A380 that an interting requirement might come to pass from the FAA? Again, the fact this change was ignored and is now being fought suggests a critical disparity in the design philosophies at Boeing and Airbus.

Different use of the word "change" to confuse the issue. Is Airbus opposed to the change in FAA regulation? I don't know, but even if they lobbied against it, it shouldn't matter to the FAA. Is Airbus opposed to the "change" in manufacture to install inerting systems in the A380? Yes, because even under the proposed FAA rules, the A380 doesn't need them. Again, if this author can prove that Boeing installs inerting systems in all it's aircraft, even those that don't require them based on the proposed FAA regulation, he might prove a different philosophy, but not that Boeing is safer.



Send not to know for whom the bell tolls...it tolls for thee
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