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rbavfan
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Nov 06, 2021 7:59 am

Polot wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
Opus99 wrote:
My two cents on this is the heat in the Middle East. I did not understand how bad it gets in the summer because I’ve never been there in the summer until I connected through Doha this summer and we had to use a remote gate. It is unbearably hot in the Middle East during the summer, I can imagine how that heat can affect the surface of aircraft. Especially when you’re in that heat constantly mixed with the dust as well.

The thing is, airbus can’t argue none of our other customers are complaining. Well none of your other 350 customers operate in those conditions.

I have also noticed the grounded aircrafts have moved from 13 to 16.


EK, EY, and ET all have hubs with harsh conditions and most A350 operators serve destinations in the Middle East.

If NZ can fly a black painted 787, a gray painted A350 should hold up in harsher conditions.

EK and EY do not have A350s (in service). Addis Ababa’s climate is nothing like the Middle East’s.

The fact that a plane’s paint should hold up better in a harsher environment compared to an all black plane of a completely different type doesn’t mean it does. The issue, if there is one, is probably completely unrelated to the composites, but rather the coating/treatment/primer Airbus uses and how it interacts with QR’s paint formula or climate.


You realize Boeing doe nt want 787 engine cowlings painted dark colors due to dark paint increasing heat & can damage the composites. Reducing their life span. Also darker paint on Air New Zealand planes could cause issue long term. It remains to be seen. MPO based on Boeing comments i past news articles.
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Nov 06, 2021 8:38 am

I imagine Airbus / airlines must by now have examined all delivered frames, particularly early deliveries and those rotating through the ME.

Yet no public info, or leaks. Very strange!
 
Arion640
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Nov 06, 2021 8:44 am

sxf24 wrote:
Opus99 wrote:
My two cents on this is the heat in the Middle East. I did not understand how bad it gets in the summer because I’ve never been there in the summer until I connected through Doha this summer and we had to use a remote gate. It is unbearably hot in the Middle East during the summer, I can imagine how that heat can affect the surface of aircraft. Especially when you’re in that heat constantly mixed with the dust as well.

The thing is, airbus can’t argue none of our other customers are complaining. Well none of your other 350 customers operate in those conditions.

I have also noticed the grounded aircrafts have moved from 13 to 16.


EK, EY, and ET all have hubs with harsh conditions and most A350 operators serve destinations in the Middle East.

If NZ can fly a black painted 787, a gray painted A350 should hold up in harsher conditions.


Having been to both. Surely a rainy Auckland is far different to baking Doha?
 
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Polot
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Nov 06, 2021 11:19 am

rbavfan wrote:
Polot wrote:
sxf24 wrote:

EK, EY, and ET all have hubs with harsh conditions and most A350 operators serve destinations in the Middle East.

If NZ can fly a black painted 787, a gray painted A350 should hold up in harsher conditions.

EK and EY do not have A350s (in service). Addis Ababa’s climate is nothing like the Middle East’s.

The fact that a plane’s paint should hold up better in a harsher environment compared to an all black plane of a completely different type doesn’t mean it does. The issue, if there is one, is probably completely unrelated to the composites, but rather the coating/treatment/primer Airbus uses and how it interacts with QR’s paint formula or climate.


You realize Boeing doe nt want 787 engine cowlings painted dark colors due to dark paint increasing heat & can damage the composites. Reducing their life span. Also darker paint on Air New Zealand planes could cause issue long term. It remains to be seen. MPO based on Boeing comments i past news articles.

Boeing recommends that for laminar flow reasons. They recommend a specific white or grey paint with no decals. The 787 is not the only or first aircraft with composite engine cowlings. The 777, for example, also has cowlings made from carbon fiber composites.
 
emre787
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Nov 06, 2021 2:39 pm

JerseyFlyer wrote:
I imagine Airbus / airlines must by now have examined all delivered frames, particularly early deliveries and those rotating through the ME.

Yet no public info, or leaks. Very strange!


Well even if they do or have done this, they wouldn't come to a result imo because only QRs A350s are rotating through the middle east every day for their lifetime and not just return to colder and milder temperatures/surroundings in the end of the day... There's no other middle eastern carrier with operational A350 yet whose airframes could also be affected and analyzed
 
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Revelation
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Nov 06, 2021 4:36 pm

ElroyJetson wrote:
I agree with a poster who likened this to the 787 shim issue. While not currently a safety issue could it be a safety issue down the line? There are so many contradictory statements from various parties it is hard to know what is truly going on.

It is about establishing a precedent more so than it being a safety issue. Both sides know there is going to be degradation of coatings, and in the case of CFRP, that it does lead to potentially serious damage if not repaired. QR wants this to be treated as a manufacturing defect that Airbus has to repair for free. Airbus wants to treat this as normal wear and tear that QR has to pay to repair. Thus the standoff. Millions of dollars are at stake, between the cost of the repairs and the down time each repair would take. Also, now at least one ego is engaged. It's a pretty ugly situation.
 
2175301
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Nov 06, 2021 5:32 pm

Revelation wrote:
ElroyJetson wrote:
I agree with a poster who likened this to the 787 shim issue. While not currently a safety issue could it be a safety issue down the line? There are so many contradictory statements from various parties it is hard to know what is truly going on.

It is about establishing a precedent more so than it being a safety issue. Both sides know there is going to be degradation of coatings, and in the case of CFRP, that it does lead to potentially serious damage if not repaired. QR wants this to be treated as a manufacturing defect that Airbus has to repair for free. Airbus wants to treat this as normal wear and tear that QR has to pay to repair. Thus the standoff. Millions of dollars are at stake, between the cost of the repairs and the down time each repair would take. Also, now at least one ego is engaged. It's a pretty ugly situation.


My information is that it is not a coating issue - see the previous pages in this thread. Its degradation of at least the surface layer of the CFRP itself; and in the case of QR it showed up rather early (I doubt that QR would be that concerned if it showed up well beyond a decade after being in service).

It is my belief that QR is looking that their A350's are not going to last their expected service life at both QR and afterwards, which affects their used value; without very expensive repairs (perhaps replacement of the CFRP panels themselves).

If that's the case - then the aircraft is not what Airbus promised.
 
Opus99
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Nov 06, 2021 5:54 pm

emre787 wrote:
JerseyFlyer wrote:
I imagine Airbus / airlines must by now have examined all delivered frames, particularly early deliveries and those rotating through the ME.

Yet no public info, or leaks. Very strange!


Well even if they do or have done this, they wouldn't come to a result imo because only QRs A350s are rotating through the middle east every day for their lifetime and not just return to colder and milder temperatures/surroundings in the end of the day... There's no other middle eastern carrier with operational A350 yet whose airframes could also be affected and analyzed

exactly. i don’t know why people choose to ignore that
 
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Revelation
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Nov 06, 2021 6:13 pm

2175301 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
It is about establishing a precedent more so than it being a safety issue. Both sides know there is going to be degradation of coatings, and in the case of CFRP, that it does lead to potentially serious damage if not repaired. QR wants this to be treated as a manufacturing defect that Airbus has to repair for free. Airbus wants to treat this as normal wear and tear that QR has to pay to repair. Thus the standoff. Millions of dollars are at stake, between the cost of the repairs and the down time each repair would take. Also, now at least one ego is engaged. It's a pretty ugly situation.

My information is that it is not a coating issue - see the previous pages in this thread. Its degradation of at least the surface layer of the CFRP itself; and in the case of QR it showed up rather early (I doubt that QR would be that concerned if it showed up well beyond a decade after being in service).

It is my belief that QR is looking that their A350's are not going to last their expected service life at both QR and afterwards, which affects their used value; without very expensive repairs (perhaps replacement of the CFRP panels themselves).

If that's the case - then the aircraft is not what Airbus promised.

You can't have a CFRP issue without there being a coating issue, because the CFRP would not be degrading if the coating was working as intended. The solution is to monitor the coating and if it shows signs of failing you make a repair before the CFRP degrades.

No one knows the true condition. IMO this post gives us the spectrum of opinions from QR/AAB to Airbus/EASA.

My point was more generic. In my experience via gliders it's known that coatings fail, and that repairs are expensive. AAB wants to establish the precedent that the manufacturer is responsible for such repairs on the A350 fleet, Airbus the opposite, thus the standoff. Neither will budge because $millions are at stake. Maybe the planes are showing such failure, maybe not, but that doesn't change the point that the issue of responsibility if such problems arise is at the heart of the current standoff.

To me the interesting part is the EASA said after inspecting the planes "no additional inspections are required beyond normal scheduled maintenance". This pretty much says they feel there are no airworthiness issues whatsoever. I realize EASA can be viewed as being biased, but regardless, that's a pretty strong statement. The fact that they called it a degraded paint condition also doesn't help his cause one bit.
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Nov 06, 2021 7:00 pm

Bringing A380s back into service is not costly if you expect Airbus to pay the bill. Then it's extortion.
 
2175301
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Nov 06, 2021 11:57 pm

Revelation wrote:
2175301 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
It is about establishing a precedent more so than it being a safety issue. Both sides know there is going to be degradation of coatings, and in the case of CFRP, that it does lead to potentially serious damage if not repaired. QR wants this to be treated as a manufacturing defect that Airbus has to repair for free. Airbus wants to treat this as normal wear and tear that QR has to pay to repair. Thus the standoff. Millions of dollars are at stake, between the cost of the repairs and the down time each repair would take. Also, now at least one ego is engaged. It's a pretty ugly situation.

My information is that it is not a coating issue - see the previous pages in this thread. Its degradation of at least the surface layer of the CFRP itself; and in the case of QR it showed up rather early (I doubt that QR would be that concerned if it showed up well beyond a decade after being in service).

It is my belief that QR is looking that their A350's are not going to last their expected service life at both QR and afterwards, which affects their used value; without very expensive repairs (perhaps replacement of the CFRP panels themselves).

If that's the case - then the aircraft is not what Airbus promised.

You can't have a CFRP issue without there being a coating issue, because the CFRP would not be degrading if the coating was working as intended. The solution is to monitor the coating and if it shows signs of failing you make a repair before the CFRP degrades.

No one knows the true condition. IMO this post gives us the spectrum of opinions from QR/AAB to Airbus/EASA.

My point was more generic. In my experience via gliders it's known that coatings fail, and that repairs are expensive. AAB wants to establish the precedent that the manufacturer is responsible for such repairs on the A350 fleet, Airbus the opposite, thus the standoff. Neither will budge because $millions are at stake. Maybe the planes are showing such failure, maybe not, but that doesn't change the point that the issue of responsibility if such problems arise is at the heart of the current standoff.

To me the interesting part is the EASA said after inspecting the planes "no additional inspections are required beyond normal scheduled maintenance". This pretty much says they feel there are no airworthiness issues whatsoever. I realize EASA can be viewed as being biased, but regardless, that's a pretty strong statement. The fact that they called it a degraded paint condition also doesn't help his cause one bit.


I have bolded the key part I wanted to respond too.

EASA did not exactly say it was a degraded paint condition. They said: "the paint and protection degradation" which implies the lightning protection grid. They also say that there is no indication that this degradation: "affects the structure or other risks" whatever that covers beyond the structure... and while it may cover the current situation; it might not cover further future continued degradation as per the not intending to take any action... for this issues at this time" statement.

https://twitter.com/jrobinsuk/status/14 ... 59072?s=21 Note: This is the only direct statement we have by EASA

I'd also like to point out that composites can degrade under coatings without coating failure occurring 1st IF the coating is more flexible than the composite. I've personally seen this. The composite surface had all kinds of minor cracks - some of which finally got major enough to fail the coating. In that case it was determined that the composite had structurally failed before any evidence showed up on the paint. They moved to an epoxy paint that cracked when the composite cracks occurred. Nuclear Plant equipment cover (lots of vibration) - that needed to withstand harsh conditions in a Design Basis Event.

You are correct that post viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1463513&p=22983721#p22983257 contains a range of different discussions on the extent.

I'd love Airbus to point out in their pre-sale literature and documents that the surface cracks and exposed lightning protection mesh was a normal and anticipated issue at a certain age (or hours or use).

To me, that is the crux of the whole issue. This kind of surface degradation (under the coating) is occurring way earlier than anticipated - if it was anticipated to occur at all. Who should pay for the eventual costly repairs or for the reduced value of an older A350?

I also suspect that this will pop up in other airlines as their equipment gets older.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Nov 07, 2021 12:24 am

JerseyFlyer wrote:
I imagine Airbus / airlines must by now have examined all delivered frames, particularly early deliveries and those rotating through the ME.

Yet no public info, or leaks. Very strange!


Is there any maintenance task in the maintenance program that looks at this part of the fuselage? Is paint stripping required?
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Nov 07, 2021 12:25 am

Opus99 wrote:
https://www.qatarairways.com/en/press-releases/2021/November/a380-2021.html

number has now grown to 19 grounded aircraft.

if this is just to squeeze airbus this is the biggest stunt i have ever seen.

surely it’s costing you more money than whatever break you’re asking for?


This has dragged on for so long and cost Qatar so much disruption that I can’t imagine that it is a stunt, but others are either more skeptical of Qatar or assume Airbus can do nothing wrong.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Nov 07, 2021 1:45 am

JetBuddy wrote:
Bringing A380s back into service is not costly if you expect Airbus to pay the bill. Then it's extortion.

You may wish to familiarize yourself with what "extortion" (a threat, meant to illegally obtain an asset of value) actually means... because this ain't it.

This is the (rather common business practice of) expecting compensation from a manufacturer when its product fails to meet contractual obligations for performance, integrity, or use.

There isn't an airline out that there doesn't have clauses to this effect, written into their sales contracts; and given the choice, OEMs generally prefer something like that, versus the spectacle of having to dish out pure cash.

Airbus is certainly no stranger to this, even on a prospective basis:
Iberia's demand for financial guarantees against the A346's performance delta, is an example of the latter.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Nov 07, 2021 4:50 pm

Opus99 wrote:
emre787 wrote:
JerseyFlyer wrote:
I imagine Airbus / airlines must by now have examined all delivered frames, particularly early deliveries and those rotating through the ME.

Yet no public info, or leaks. Very strange!


Well even if they do or have done this, they wouldn't come to a result imo because only QRs A350s are rotating through the middle east every day for their lifetime and not just return to colder and milder temperatures/surroundings in the end of the day... There's no other middle eastern carrier with operational A350 yet whose airframes could also be affected and analyzed

exactly. i don’t know why people choose to ignore that

Because Ethiopian Airlines also operates A350s of this vintage, or Singapore Airlines; these countries are also very low on the equator and receiving a good amount of heat and UVs all throughout the year. Their planes appear to not be impacted.

It's "funny" how this is only impacting 1 airline, who is known to publicly display their issues with an OEM, with basically not a lot of information about the problem, and all being said to be at the request of the regulator when said regulator has nothing posted about it.
If it quacks like a duck, and walk like a duck... well, you know the rest.
 
Duke91
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Nov 07, 2021 5:27 pm

Funny how people take Qatars word for granted here even though it is Qatar.
 
Opus99
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Nov 07, 2021 5:42 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
Opus99 wrote:
emre787 wrote:

Well even if they do or have done this, they wouldn't come to a result imo because only QRs A350s are rotating through the middle east every day for their lifetime and not just return to colder and milder temperatures/surroundings in the end of the day... There's no other middle eastern carrier with operational A350 yet whose airframes could also be affected and analyzed

exactly. i don’t know why people choose to ignore that

Because Ethiopian Airlines also operates A350s of this vintage, or Singapore Airlines; these countries are also very low on the equator and receiving a good amount of heat and UVs all throughout the year. Their planes appear to not be impacted.

It's "funny" how this is only impacting 1 airline, who is known to publicly display their issues with an OEM, with basically not a lot of information about the problem, and all being said to be at the request of the regulator when said regulator has nothing posted about it.
If it quacks like a duck, and walk like a duck... well, you know the rest.

If you do research, you'll know the weather in Ethiopia and Singapore and the gulf are VERY different. A simple google search will tell you that. in these countries you mentioned it even rains frequently enough. It does not in the gulf

look at your weather app and compare the temperatures just now, and you'll see.

Addis Abbaba is going as low as 8 DEGREES and as high as 22 degrees for this week

Doha is as low is Addis abbaba's high at 22 degrees with their high at 33 degrees for this week

Singapore is warm yes, but it rains a lot, google search on average Singapore gets 167 days of rain a year, which can cool things down. Doha? 8 days of rain a year... two very different weathers

Doha? Sun Sun Sun, you cannot know for sure what constant sun and heat can be doing to that fuselage and it is doing something clearly, airbus does not deny the problem exists btw. they say it does not affect the airworthiness of the aircraft and that it should be flying actually. that's where there is a disconnect.
 
trex8
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Nov 07, 2021 5:49 pm

2175301 wrote:

EASA did not exactly say it was a degraded paint condition. They said: "the paint and protection degradation" which implies the lightning protection grid. They also say that there is no indication that this degradation: "affects the structure or other risks" whatever that covers beyond the structure... and while it may cover the current situation; it might not cover further future continued degradation as per the not intending to take any action... for this issues at this time" statement.

https://twitter.com/jrobinsuk/status/14 ... 59072?s=21 Note: This is the only direct statement we have by EASA


.

how do we know "protection degradation" refers to the lightning protection and not just paint protection???
 
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Revelation
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Nov 07, 2021 6:26 pm

2175301 wrote:
I have bolded the key part I wanted to respond too.

EASA did not exactly say it was a degraded paint condition. They said: "the paint and protection degradation" which implies the lightning protection grid. They also say that there is no indication that this degradation: "affects the structure or other risks" whatever that covers beyond the structure... and while it may cover the current situation; it might not cover further future continued degradation as per the not intending to take any action... for this issues at this time" statement.

https://twitter.com/jrobinsuk/status/14 ... 59072?s=21 Note: This is the only direct statement we have by EASA

I'd also like to point out that composites can degrade under coatings without coating failure occurring 1st IF the coating is more flexible than the composite. I've personally seen this. The composite surface had all kinds of minor cracks - some of which finally got major enough to fail the coating. In that case it was determined that the composite had structurally failed before any evidence showed up on the paint. They moved to an epoxy paint that cracked when the composite cracks occurred. Nuclear Plant equipment cover (lots of vibration) - that needed to withstand harsh conditions in a Design Basis Event.

You are correct that post viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1463513&p=22983721#p22983257 contains a range of different discussions on the extent.

I'd love Airbus to point out in their pre-sale literature and documents that the surface cracks and exposed lightning protection mesh was a normal and anticipated issue at a certain age (or hours or use).

To me, that is the crux of the whole issue. This kind of surface degradation (under the coating) is occurring way earlier than anticipated - if it was anticipated to occur at all. Who should pay for the eventual costly repairs or for the reduced value of an older A350?

I also suspect that this will pop up in other airlines as their equipment gets older.

Thanks for the interesting post, I learned a few new things from it. The idea that the composite can fail first seems plausible to me. We don't know if A350 is using a time-tested set of materials or if it went to some new formation. We know Airbus has a lot of experience with CFRP (A300 tail, A380 rear section and wing box, etc) but no idea if A350 tried something new or not. AAB said the issue happened in areas of aerodynamic stress.

Agree that I should have read the EASA statement a bit better.

trex8 wrote:
2175301 wrote:

EASA did not exactly say it was a degraded paint condition. They said: "the paint and protection degradation" which implies the lightning protection grid. They also say that there is no indication that this degradation: "affects the structure or other risks" whatever that covers beyond the structure... and while it may cover the current situation; it might not cover further future continued degradation as per the not intending to take any action... for this issues at this time" statement.

https://twitter.com/jrobinsuk/status/14 ... 59072?s=21 Note: This is the only direct statement we have by EASA

how do we know "protection degradation" refers to the lightning protection and not just paint protection???

Agree, "paint and protection degradation" could possibly mean "paint and coating degradation" because the coating protects the CFRP.
 
Pelly
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sun Nov 07, 2021 7:48 pm

trex8 wrote:
2175301 wrote:

EASA did not exactly say it was a degraded paint condition. They said: "the paint and protection degradation" which implies the lightning protection grid. They also say that there is no indication that this degradation: "affects the structure or other risks" whatever that covers beyond the structure... and while it may cover the current situation; it might not cover further future continued degradation as per the not intending to take any action... for this issues at this time" statement.

https://twitter.com/jrobinsuk/status/14 ... 59072?s=21 Note: This is the only direct statement we have by EASA


.

how do we know "protection degradation" refers to the lightning protection and not just paint protection???



“It is a problem with the paint that has led to us getting deterioration on the lightning protection of the fuselage and cracks appearing on the composite,” Al Baker said in an interview at an airline industry summit in Boston. The paint is not deteriorating on metal areas of the aircraft, and only where there is “aerodynamic stress,” he said.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ite-cracks
 
Okcflyer
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 1:23 am

My thinking is that this deterioration increases drag and therefore fuel burn, and this increased cost is central to QR’s argument against Airbus and reason for parking, and the ever-increasing number of parked frames. I doubt its a structural or integrity of safety issue at this point, or we would have seen very different behavior from EASA and other airlines.

I suspect there is a specific clause or language in QR’s contract that requires the planes be grounded in order to qualify for a specific schedule of credits/penalties.

Most likely QR is using this clause as leverage to force Airbus to find a long term fix, or claim this as a manufacturing defeat subject to warranty provisions. Airbus is probably arguing it’a related to QR’s environment and/or paint decisions (they may even had warned QR this was possible), and it’s on QR to pay for the maintenance / fixes.

My two cents.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 1:44 am

Okcflyer wrote:
My thinking is that this deterioration increases drag and therefore fuel burn, and this increased cost is central to QR’s argument against Airbus and reason for parking, and the ever-increasing number of parked frames. I doubt its a structural or integrity of safety issue at this point, or we would have seen very different behavior from EASA and other airlines.

I suspect there is a specific clause or language in QR’s contract that requires the planes be grounded in order to qualify for a specific schedule of credits/penalties.

Most likely QR is using this clause as leverage to force Airbus to find a long term fix, or claim this as a manufacturing defeat subject to warranty provisions. Airbus is probably arguing it’a related to QR’s environment and/or paint decisions (they may even had warned QR this was possible), and it’s on QR to pay for the maintenance / fixes.

My two cents.

That's the thing: no one, including the aviation regulator supposedly at the origin of this grounding, is pointing out to the actual problem, but QR and AAB. Knowing how they operate, it can only raise suspicion, especially given the silence of everybody else.
Again, if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, then it is a duck. So far, no one has been able to prove this theory wrong.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 1:45 am

Pelly wrote:
“It is a problem with the paint that has led to us getting deterioration on the lightning protection of the fuselage and cracks appearing on the composite,” Al Baker said in an interview at an airline industry summit in Boston. The paint is not deteriorating on metal areas of the aircraft, and only where there is “aerodynamic stress,” he said.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ite-cracks

Correct, but this is from the AAB statement instead of the EASA statement, and it's the EASA statement that some of us find a bit ambiguous.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 4:46 am

2175301 wrote:
My information is that it is not a coating issue - see the previous pages in this thread. Its degradation of at least the surface layer of the CFRP itself; and in the case of QR it showed up rather early (I doubt that QR would be that concerned if it showed up well beyond a decade after being in service).

It is my belief that QR is looking that their A350's are not going to last their expected service life at both QR and afterwards, which affects their used value; without very expensive repairs (perhaps replacement of the CFRP panels themselves).

If that's the case - then the aircraft is not what Airbus promised.


In my day job I design fiberglass tanks, ducts, and scrubbers. Most resins are for conditions up to around 140F, by the time the resin is subjected to 180F temps, far fewer are available. Only a few are suitable over 250F. Higher temps, temperature cycling, infrared, visual, and UV light all can affect it. Aviation paints are quite thin, like 5 mils total thickness for the system, and the paint materials always have some translucency at varying wavelengths. Composite degradation occurs for many factors, as you have noted above and in other posts - its quite real and quite serious.

Qatar has very close environmental conditions to the maximum design condition in terms of temperatures, humidity, radiant heating, etc. Qatar elected to paint in a gray, not a white, probably worth 10 to 15 degrees added surface temps in the sun compared to white. The gray paint may be more translucent than the white for UV, as white pigments are some of the most opaque around.

The plane is sitting hot then cooled along with the pressurization tension as it reaches cruise, over 20 minutes the exterior skin goes from 150F to -50F, a 200 degree variation maximum, but 120 degree variation or more each day. It is a composite mix of resin, carbon, and copper mesh. All with significantly different expansion rates and mechanical properties. The wires making up the copper mesh have volumetric expansion, the carbon has different expansion for both temperature and humidity.

As you noted, all I am saying is that the factors are present to be causing a problem, and this problem can be loosely called "rapid aging", the shell is fine now but its expected lifespan is being shortened. But why are the A350's affected, but not the A380's, also with composites present at the top of the hull. Likely different composites, different resins, same paint, same conditions. Well one resin is good to 140F say, and the other 160F. Enough difference at this critical point. I would speculate that the skin temps in Qatar are over 140F, but unlikely over 160F.

I personally believe there is a real problem, but AAB might be going for some extra drama.
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 7:31 am

What is the solution - additional coatings, a different composite layer on top, burying the copper deeper in the composite??

Airbus may already have solutions in the works for new builds, but how to apply to built frames - patches, replace whole panels?
 
LTEN11
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 9:11 am

JerseyFlyer wrote:
What is the solution - additional coatings, a different composite layer on top, burying the copper deeper in the composite??

Airbus may already have solutions in the works for new builds, but how to apply to built frames - patches, replace whole panels?


But Airbus is denying there's a problem, so logic would say they are not working on any solutions because as far as they're concerned there is no problem !
 
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seahawk
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 9:58 am

The more interesting point is that other airlines seem to have found no problems.
 
Opus99
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:11 am

seahawk wrote:
The more interesting point is that other airlines seem to have found no problems.

they do not operate in the gulf, so there's a strong chance they would not find other problems. Airbus/EASA did not say that such issue did not exist btw. in fact they released a memo on how to carry out repainting aircraft, did they not?
 
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Polot
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:51 am

LTEN11 wrote:
JerseyFlyer wrote:
What is the solution - additional coatings, a different composite layer on top, burying the copper deeper in the composite??

Airbus may already have solutions in the works for new builds, but how to apply to built frames - patches, replace whole panels?


But Airbus is denying there's a problem, so logic would say they are not working on any solutions because as far as they're concerned there is no problem !

Airbus has never denied there is a problem. The disagreement is over the seriousness, who is responsible, and who is ultimately going to pay to fix the issue.
 
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zkojq
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:12 am

WayexTDI wrote:
It's "funny" how this is only impacting 1 airline, who is known to publicly display their issues with an OEM, with basically not a lot of information about the problem, and all being said to be at the request of the regulator when said regulator has nothing posted about it.
If it quacks like a duck, and walk like a duck... well, you know the rest.


Well said. I'm surprised that a.net seems to keep underestimating the size of QR's CEO's ego. He earned the nickname 'U-Turn-Al' for good reason. Others have pointed out that the Gulf States have far cozier relationships between the regulators and the airlines than most of the developed world.

I'll be happy to eat my words if it the issues are found at other airlines.
 
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Heavierthanair
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 1:36 pm

G'day

zkojq wrote:
I'm surprised that a.net seems to keep underestimating the size of QR's CEO's ego. He earned the nickname 'U-Turn-Al' for good reason. Others have pointed out that the Gulf States have far cozier relationships between the regulators and the airlines than most of the developed world.

I'll be happy to eat my words if it the issues are found at other airlines.


Why doesn't Qatar bring one of the broken aircraft to the Dubai airshow to show the world the seriousness of the problem? :hissyfit: If it is unsafe to fly it there due to the possibility the fuselage breaking up inflight then they can always transport it to Dubai using a ship. Problem maybe to find a location big enough in Dubai to accommodate U-turns ego though :crazy: As for the state regulating the state that would be something new :rotfl:

I for one would be happy to help you with eating those words.

Cheers

Peter
 
2175301
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 3:13 pm

Heavierthanair wrote:
G'day

zkojq wrote:
I'm surprised that a.net seems to keep underestimating the size of QR's CEO's ego. He earned the nickname 'U-Turn-Al' for good reason. Others have pointed out that the Gulf States have far cozier relationships between the regulators and the airlines than most of the developed world.

I'll be happy to eat my words if it the issues are found at other airlines.


Why doesn't Qatar bring one of the broken aircraft to the Dubai airshow to show the world the seriousness of the problem? :hissyfit: If it is unsafe to fly it there due to the possibility the fuselage breaking up inflight then they can always transport it to Dubai using a ship. Problem maybe to find a location big enough in Dubai to accommodate U-turns ego though :crazy: As for the state regulating the state that would be something new :rotfl:

I for one would be happy to help you with eating those words.

Cheers

Peter


It's a lot cheaper just to invite interesting airlines to look at their aircraft where they are.... I am sure that some airlines have done that.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 5:13 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
2175301 wrote:
My information is that it is not a coating issue - see the previous pages in this thread. Its degradation of at least the surface layer of the CFRP itself; and in the case of QR it showed up rather early (I doubt that QR would be that concerned if it showed up well beyond a decade after being in service).

It is my belief that QR is looking that their A350's are not going to last their expected service life at both QR and afterwards, which affects their used value; without very expensive repairs (perhaps replacement of the CFRP panels themselves).

If that's the case - then the aircraft is not what Airbus promised.


In my day job I design fiberglass tanks, ducts, and scrubbers. Most resins are for conditions up to around 140F, by the time the resin is subjected to 180F temps, far fewer are available. Only a few are suitable over 250F. Higher temps, temperature cycling, infrared, visual, and UV light all can affect it. Aviation paints are quite thin, like 5 mils total thickness for the system, and the paint materials always have some translucency at varying wavelengths. Composite degradation occurs for many factors, as you have noted above and in other posts - its quite real and quite serious.

Qatar has very close environmental conditions to the maximum design condition in terms of temperatures, humidity, radiant heating, etc. Qatar elected to paint in a gray, not a white, probably worth 10 to 15 degrees added surface temps in the sun compared to white. The gray paint may be more translucent than the white for UV, as white pigments are some of the most opaque around.

The plane is sitting hot then cooled along with the pressurization tension as it reaches cruise, over 20 minutes the exterior skin goes from 150F to -50F, a 200 degree variation maximum, but 120 degree variation or more each day. It is a composite mix of resin, carbon, and copper mesh. All with significantly different expansion rates and mechanical properties. The wires making up the copper mesh have volumetric expansion, the carbon has different expansion for both temperature and humidity.

As you noted, all I am saying is that the factors are present to be causing a problem, and this problem can be loosely called "rapid aging", the shell is fine now but its expected lifespan is being shortened. But why are the A350's affected, but not the A380's, also with composites present at the top of the hull. Likely different composites, different resins, same paint, same conditions. Well one resin is good to 140F say, and the other 160F. Enough difference at this critical point. I would speculate that the skin temps in Qatar are over 140F, but unlikely over 160F.

I personally believe there is a real problem, but AAB might be going for some extra drama.



I have followed this closely for a year and it is difficult to get any straight answers. Both you and Revelation have some knowledge of composites and both of you are saying they can experience degradation fairly easily under the right circumstances.

While composites have been used for years, usually the panels were placed in non stress areas. Al Baker is stating the problems they are seeing are primarily in high stress areas. I think you are correct in that the composites maybe degrading more quickly than they should. While not currently a safety issue, the panels may need to be replaced in the future which is no doubt an expensive proposition.

I do not think this story is going away anytime soon. None of us know the precise composite mixture Airbus is using. Maybe, as you state, the environmental conditions existing in Qatar are pushing the composite materials to their limit. This will be interesting to follow.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 7:00 pm

Just no. They talked about paint degradation or cracks on the composites panel, which just means in the paint.
 
sxf24
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 7:36 pm

seahawk wrote:
The more interesting point is that other airlines seem to have found no problems.


I’ve heard from sources within the industry that AF and BA are finding similar issues. This is a rumor, but it raised questions about how UKCAA will respond. They’re significantly more sophisticated that Qatar CAA but also splitting with EASA on many topics.
 
2175301
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 8:16 pm

sxf24 wrote:
seahawk wrote:
The more interesting point is that other airlines seem to have found no problems.


I’ve heard from sources within the industry that AF and BA are finding similar issues. This is a rumor, but it raised questions about how UKCAA will respond. They’re significantly more sophisticated that Qatar CAA but also splitting with EASA on many topics.


Even if your sources are correct; there may never be UKCAA or further EASA involvment. They only get involved with safety or structural issues.

This appears to be degradation, and the EASA has explicitly stated that there is no structural or safety issue... at this time.

Degradation of components is normal and exists on many areas of all aircraft. You monitor it to a certain point and then refurbish or replace the component - all without getting the regulator and safety boards involved.

Only if degradation gets to where it likely (or definitely) affects structure of safety does the regulators get involved.

I believe that this is all about who is going to pay for the eventual repair of this degradation when it reaches the point that it approaches affecting the structure and safety. It's likely not going to be cheap. If it was cheap Airbus would have already taken care of it.
 
sxf24
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 8:51 pm

2175301 wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
seahawk wrote:
The more interesting point is that other airlines seem to have found no problems.


I’ve heard from sources within the industry that AF and BA are finding similar issues. This is a rumor, but it raised questions about how UKCAA will respond. They’re significantly more sophisticated that Qatar CAA but also splitting with EASA on many topics.


Even if your sources are correct; there may never be UKCAA or further EASA involvment. They only get involved with safety or structural issues.

This appears to be degradation, and the EASA has explicitly stated that there is no structural or safety issue... at this time.

Degradation of components is normal and exists on many areas of all aircraft. You monitor it to a certain point and then refurbish or replace the component - all without getting the regulator and safety boards involved.

Only if degradation gets to where it likely (or definitely) affects structure of safety does the regulators get involved.

I believe that this is all about who is going to pay for the eventual repair of this degradation when it reaches the point that it approaches affecting the structure and safety. It's likely not going to be cheap. If it was cheap Airbus would have already taken care of it.


We’ve speculated and parsed statements, but we don’t know the exact nature of any issue. It’s fair to conclude there’s no immediate safety of flight issue identified at this moment. Faster than expected degradation is a safety issue as the aircraft was certified with an assumption of certain maintenance intervals to inspect, repair and restore. If faster action could be needed, it will increase maintenance events which is a severe contractual and economic issue.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:51 pm

This thread is ASTONISHING in the amount of declarative statements that people are willing to make, in the total absence of fact to back it up.
I mean, even more so than usual for here.


Duke91 wrote:
Funny how people take Qatars word for granted here even though it is Qatar.

What does that even mean?



LTEN11 wrote:
But Airbus is denying there's a problem, so logic would say they are not working on any solutions because as far as they're concerned there is no problem !

Can you show us where Airbus "denied there's a problem"?



zkojq wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
It's "funny" how this is only impacting 1 airline, who is known to publicly display their issues with an OEM, with basically not a lot of information about the problem, and all being said to be at the request of the regulator when said regulator has nothing posted about it.
If it quacks like a duck, and walk like a duck... well, you know the rest.


Well said. I'm surprised that a.net seems to keep underestimating the size of QR's CEO's ego. He earned the nickname 'U-Turn-Al' for good reason. Others have pointed out that the Gulf States have far cozier relationships between the regulators and the airlines than most of the developed world.

I'll be happy to eat my words if it the issues are found at other airlines.

As has been (accurately) stated so many times previously, even here: it's not surprising that no other airline would have this problem, as there's no other A350-operating airline who (1) is desert based, and (2) has had their A350s in operation for any length of time.



seahawk wrote:
Just no. They talked about paint degradation or cracks on the composites panel, which just means in the paint.

Despite all of the speculative media reporting from earlier this summer, even Al Baker has since publicly stated that this is not a paint issue.

""This is not a paint issue," Al Baker said on Thursday."
https://www.lse.co.uk/news/update-1-qat ... ge8rl.html

....it doesn't get any more straightforward than that.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:57 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
""This is not a paint issue," Al Baker said on Thursday."
https://www.lse.co.uk/news/update-1-qat ... ge8rl.html

....it doesn't get any more straightforward than that.

And AAB, a.k.a. "the most reliable guy in the world when it comes to publicly venting issues that may not exist", is the only one to complain about it.

And then again, can anyone point out to the Qatar Aviation Authorities' document that states MSNs such and such are to be grounded? No one, and I repeat no one, has been able to produce such document. So, what we have is one airline, known for not being reasonable, publicly whining about a problem that may, or may not, be an actual problem with nothing backing said problem.
And you don't see an issue with this?
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Tue Nov 09, 2021 12:19 am

WayexTDI wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
""This is not a paint issue," Al Baker said on Thursday."
https://www.lse.co.uk/news/update-1-qat ... ge8rl.html

....it doesn't get any more straightforward than that.

And AAB, a.k.a. "the most reliable guy in the world when it comes to publicly venting issues that may not exist", is the only one to complain about it.

Did you just totally gloss over the half-dozen or so posts that ahve addressed both (1) why this would be the case, and (2) why it makes no sense to keep bringing it up as an attempted counterpoint...... or do you just enjoy repeating fallacies? At this point, one has to wonder.


WayexTDI wrote:
known for not being reasonable

What does that even mean?

What "unreasonable" thing has he --someone spending billions on a product, who wants it delivered and maintained to perfection-- done?

I mean, maybe some of you need to spend some time in high-revenue sales to get a better idea of how things work; but there's really nothing he's done that's atypical of people in positions to make such purchases. You're kidding yourselves if you think the likes of DL, WN, LH, etc are any different.

He's just more public/vocal about it than they are, as his strategy is to use media attention to his advantage. Early '90s/'00s VS and Branson were the same way, and they had a fraction of QR's purchasing power.
 
sxf24
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:13 am

WayexTDI wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
""This is not a paint issue," Al Baker said on Thursday."
https://www.lse.co.uk/news/update-1-qat ... ge8rl.html

....it doesn't get any more straightforward than that.

And AAB, a.k.a. "the most reliable guy in the world when it comes to publicly venting issues that may not exist", is the only one to complain about it.

And then again, can anyone point out to the Qatar Aviation Authorities' document that states MSNs such and such are to be grounded? No one, and I repeat no one, has been able to produce such document. So, what we have is one airline, known for not being reasonable, publicly whining about a problem that may, or may not, be an actual problem with nothing backing said problem.
And you don't see an issue with this?


Outside of FAA, EASA, ANAC, TCAA and maybe UKCAA, regulators are not transparent. They’re not certifying aircraft programs and don’t have the need to share their information with the public.

I don’t think there’s a basis to question the Qatar CAA action, though “why” is an open question. Ultimately, they are subject to ICAO rules and accusing them of acting to advance QR commercial negotiations is out of bounds.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Tue Nov 09, 2021 6:43 am

LAX772LR wrote:
""This is not a paint issue," Al Baker said on Thursday."
https://www.lse.co.uk/news/update-1-qat ... ge8rl.html

....it doesn't get any more straightforward than that.


This depends on how you define paint. AAB does only mean the actual livery, Airbus includes the base and protective layers.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Tue Nov 09, 2021 6:54 am

seahawk wrote:
AAB does only mean the actual livery

(1) how would you know what he "only means" when he has not given any explanation/clarification aligning with what you claim?

(2) the issue is (from what information is available) thought to be related to how the repetitive delta in ground temp versus cruise affects the mix of composites+resins+metals in the structure of the aircraft's panels themselves. Paint+undercoating (vis-a-vis pigment types) can affect that, but we've no information to state that a change would've prevented this.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Tue Nov 09, 2021 7:36 am

We have also a clear statement from EASA that no structural components are involved.
 
2175301
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Tue Nov 09, 2021 7:45 am

seahawk wrote:
We have also a clear statement from EASA that no structural components are involved.


No, not at all. They said that there is no structural damage at this point; which is completely different from saying that no structures were involved; and included that there was no need for actions "at this time" in their statement. I would also like to point out that they also said that the issue involved the coating and protection. Various layers of paint are typically referred to as "coating" and "protection" is clearly something other than a coating by the way the sentence is worded.

Now is the "protection" the surface layer(s) of the epoxy composite, the grounding grid underneath it, or perhaps both. We don't know.

Based on their statement: it sounds to me that along with coating issues that there is to me initial degradation of the epoxy layers... which do not present any structural of safety issue... at this time. But, could in the future depending on how bad it gets.

Please stop trying to claim that the EASA statement only involves paint and cannot involve the epoxy composite. I would suggest that you print it out and include it in the next post where you talk about what it could mean. I posted the reference to it a few days ago.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Tue Nov 09, 2021 7:51 am

We are talking about CFRP - a composite material, the epoxy layers are an integral part of the structure and if they degrade it is structural damage.
 
2175301
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Tue Nov 09, 2021 7:53 am

seahawk wrote:
We are talking about CFRP - a composite material, the epoxy layers are an integral part of the structure and if they degrade it is structural damage.


Not necessarily. There may be a seal coat or two of epoxy that is non-structural above the structural layers. My understanding is that is often done with composites.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Tue Nov 09, 2021 8:06 am

And that is the point. This coating is not part of the structural element. So is this paint or structure? Or something in between. Obviously Airbus has some serious quality issues with the A350, but so far it show now indication that the actual structural elements are effected.
 
2175301
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Tue Nov 09, 2021 8:07 am

For everyone: Here is the wording of the EASA statement posted on Twitter Aug 9, 2021

https://twitter.com/jrobinsuk/status/14 ... 59072?s=21

If I transcribed it correctly: "Based on the data provided to EASA, there is no indication that the paint and protection degradation affects the structure of the aircraft or introduces other risks, and so EASA is not intending to take any action as state of design for this issue at this time."

EASA clearly says there is an issue. Clearly says that it involves both paint and protection; but does not clarify what this protection consists of (other than its not paint). They also include a statement of "at this time" which to me indicates that they know that things may change in the future.

QR is reporting that the surface layer(s) of the composite is cracking and exposing the grounding grid (while Airbus has not said anything - they have not denied this either). Neither of those would be structural elements of the CRFP.

Note: Something I just remembered from my composite class. You always coat the structural layers with sacrificial non-structural layers so that they take any initial damage and you don't affect the structure. In some cases those sacrificial layers can be repaired, in others they cannot be. The presence of the grounding grid in this case would make surface repair difficult as you would not wish to affect the conductivity of the surface of these panels.
 
2175301
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 11:19 am

Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Tue Nov 09, 2021 8:13 am

seahawk wrote:
And that is the point. This coating is not part of the structural element. So is this paint or structure? Or something in between. Obviously Airbus has some serious quality issues with the A350, but so far it show now indication that the actual structural elements are effected.


And who should pay for repairing this quality issue... which is likely to get worse in the future if not addressed.... and may then affect the grounding grid (safety) and the structure if it progresses far enough.

Is Airbus responsible for paying for their quality issues.... or are the airlines responsible for quality issues that they did not expect? Please let us know what your position is on this question.
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