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

Fri Dec 10, 2021 2:35 pm

There is an old saying - It takes two to tango.

There was an interesting comment in Jon Ostrower's twitter comment.

The one consistent message I’ve heard from A350 customers about the paint issue is that they want Airbus to more vigorously protect the A350 brand. This looks to be the natural outgrowth of that sentiment.

https://twitter.com/jonostrower/status/ ... 8647843843

So this does seem to be a result of the way that QR has been "negotiating" in public.

We all know that there must be multiple disputes going on with both manufacturers - delayed delivery and requests to delay delivery, quality issues, excessive maintenance etc etc. Most of these do not make the public domain with the few that do normally being at the agreement between the companies.

What I believe is that QR did not expect the dispute to go this way.
 
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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

Fri Dec 10, 2021 2:43 pm

StTim wrote:
There is an old saying - It takes two to tango.

There was an interesting comment in Jon Ostrower's twitter comment.

The one consistent message I’ve heard from A350 customers about the paint issue is that they want Airbus to more vigorously protect the A350 brand. This looks to be the natural outgrowth of that sentiment.

https://twitter.com/jonostrower/status/ ... 8647843843

So this does seem to be a result of the way that QR has been "negotiating" in public.

We all know that there must be multiple disputes going on with both manufacturers - delayed delivery and requests to delay delivery, quality issues, excessive maintenance etc etc. Most of these do not make the public domain with the few that do normally being at the agreement between the companies.

What I believe is that QR did not expect the dispute to go this way.

With the attention to safety and regulating authorities at the moment due to the Max situation and fallout airlines are nervous about unwanted hyper attention to any issue- in fear that regulating authorities would take a hard stance causing disruption when in the past they might have had a bit more flexibility. That is why they want/mean by Airbus to “protect the A350 brand”
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 10, 2021 3:20 pm

Polot wrote:
That is why they want/mean by Airbus to “protect the A350 brand”


Wow, even this statement can be taken to have different meanings:

1) Protect the image

2) Improve the quality Or customer relations to protect the brand.

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

Fri Dec 10, 2021 4:36 pm

par13del wrote:
MrBren wrote:
zeke wrote:
... it has a mandate to ground any aircraft it sees has not had maintenance performed ...


If QR is not able to perform a correct maintenance of the fleet, then QR licence should be paused.

So you are saying that all their a/c should be grounded - you did say fleet and not just the A350 which may have unique maintenance issues.


I just wonder which entity dictates the rules to the other ... Qatari aviation regulator to QR or vice versa?
 
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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

Fri Dec 10, 2021 5:49 pm

Grizzly410 wrote:
Airbus seems fed up with one-of-its A350 customer ongoing mischaracterisation of non-structural surface degradation on its fleet of A350...

https://www.airbus.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2021-12-airbus-preparing-for-an-independent-legal-assessment-in-response-to

The legal bills must be tremendous on this affair already. I bet that presser represents hundreds of billable hours on its own.

So many interesting word choices for me to interpret/translate/criticize:

In the title:
customer disagreement = pissed off customer
surface degradation: willing to admit it's more than paint

In the text:
mischaracterisation = lie
one of its customers: we all know who we're talking about but we'd better not escalate by naming them
non-structural surface degradation: clawing back a few points by saying it's non-structural
independent legal assessment = biased legal assessment, since we're paying for it
direct and open discussions = screaming matches
paint-related: also air-related, water-related, tide-related, gravity-related, zodiac-related, etc
no airworthiness impact = lots of money impact
misrepresent as an airworthiness issue = strong-arming us into paying for it all
a threat to the international protocols on safety matters = we don't want to pay for it all
solutions have all been dismissed without justification = band-aids on wounds not cutting it
working to re-establish a constructive dialogue = we hired lawyers
not willing to accept inaccurate statements of this kind to continue = we're pissed
proposed corrective steps = more band-aids

bikerthai wrote:
Technically, I feel that Airbus is right. From a customer relations stand point however it is all FUBAR.

I agree. I have been watching the industry for 20 years and have never seen a customer relationship challenge end up like this, with open warfare in the media and in lawyer's offices, and perhaps in courts. As mentioned, it takes two to tango. We know QR has been hard to please for decades now. What seems new to me is the vendor is not willing to go the extra mile. Usually there is profit built into the sales price to cover future problems. Maybe there wasn't enough profit in the deal, or maybe the cost of the problem exceeds any reasonable ability for the vendor to absorb the cost.

Flying-Tiger wrote:
Boeing will be looking very carefully how this matter is solved, and I would guess that they are not willing to sign any contract with QR or other airlines prior knowing the settlement. This is likely no longer really about a quality issue, this is more about a power play who has the upper hand in the market longer term: manufacturers or airlines. And that´s a space Boeing will watch very closely.

I really doubt this is how it would go down. The sales team doesn't worry much about anything but the sale. This "surface degradation" thing is a support issue. Most organizations will just take the sale and rely on the support team to handle the downstream issues. QR is a 787 customer, Boeing is working with them on delivery disruptions. QR is also a 777X customer with its own delivery issues. So far, there are no major flareups to report. Boeing would be happy to take QR's order for 77XF or more 779, IMO.

reidar76 wrote:
If Airbus is correct in their latest press release, that Qatar is in violation of international safety protocols, this might have consequences for Qatars operations in EASA airspace.

Nope, the presser said "represents a threat to". That shows the work of the high priced lawyers, they create an impression but don't actually cross the line by making an accusation.

astuteman wrote:
It seems clear to me that what is going on in a very public way is a negotiation about what money gets spent where.
For me, the QR issue is nothing to do with safety (as EASA say) and all to do with pressurising Airbus to do a "whole 9 yards solution" at their cost, rather than indulging in extra maintenance through life - liability for cost to be negotiated downstream. That debate I completely get - with some sympathy for the QR position, if not their method of negotiation.

Exactly. When push comes to shove, it's all about the money. Safety is being used as a scare tactic to influence a resolution of the money issues. I doubt this presser will change QR's approach at all. Whatever resolution eventually happens will come with NDAs with both sides hinting ithey won the battle.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 10, 2021 6:14 pm

This dealing with QR remindes me of this quote from Lawrence of Arabia.

https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/1ffeae55-d ... 7481bde0e5

bt
 
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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

Fri Dec 10, 2021 6:41 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Polot wrote:
Huh? All American Airlines planes are painted with the exception of their AA retrojets, which are 737s (that obviously have aluminum, not composite, fuselages).


Boeing refused to sell the 777 to AA with unpainted fuselage skin.

zeke wrote:
There are many reason why aircraft can get grounded.


Given a certain set of data and written regulations, there are alway human factors that may cause some people to be more conservative than others. I see this often with both engineering and QA.

My take is there is a subtle aspect of QA regulator's decision. It's not that they believe it is an airworthiness issue. It is because they are unsure that it's not an airworthiness issue and sided with conservatism. I've faced these kind of argument many times when dealing with QA. I tend to lose these argument every time.

bt



I think you are correct in stating the grounding of the now 20 QR A350's may be due to the Qatari Regulator being conservative. I make this assumption based on statements made by Al Baker. His language seemed very careful, but he said several times that " there may or may not be an airworthiness issue, that has yet to be determined. ".

That sounds very lawyerly to me. I am obviously speculating, but that may have come from their regulatory authority. Interestingly, it does not appear that other regulatory bodies are in agreement with the Qataris.
 
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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

Fri Dec 10, 2021 7:09 pm

ElroyJetson wrote:
I think you are correct in stating the grounding of the now 20 QR A350's may be due to the Qatari Regulator being conservative. I make this assumption based on statements made by Al Baker. His language seemed very careful, but he said several times that " there may or may not be an airworthiness issue, that has yet to be determined. ".

That sounds very lawyerly to me. I am obviously speculating, but that may have come from their regulatory authority. Interestingly, it does not appear that other regulatory bodies are in agreement with the Qataris.

I feel Airbus has the right to complain that QR and the Qatari regulator are creating the impression that this is a safety related issue, but also I'm surprised they are doing so in the very public way they are now doing.

IIRC all QR said is they planes are grounded at the request of their regulator, but neither them or the regulator has said more than that. I think they are creating the impression that it is an airworthiness issue without actually saying the planes are not airworthy.

It's enough for Airbus to be angry about, but again I'm surprised they have made the moves they have just made.

It kind of feels where we were when Boeing would not admit to a design flaw in the 737 classic's rudder and US Airways bought no more 737s after that. We may have crossed the point where the relationship won't heal for decades if ever.
 
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kanban
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Fri Dec 10, 2021 7:21 pm

Looking at the photos, there are a couple things I noticed. The mesh is apparently baked onto the surface, but there is no material penetration through the mesh. either the mesh screen size is too small or there is a material rejection that prevents penetration and extrusion to the paint side . there could also be an adhesion issue between the composite, adhesives, mesh and the surface layers. one picture shows the mesh is not attached to the substrate. Then there is the possibility of contamination or subsequent copper corrosion preventing the adhesion.

I maybe old fashioned but it looks like having a more open mesh, coating the meshed panel with Alodine for adhesion and verifying the underlaying adhesive layer actually penetrates the mesh so the subsequent layers have something to attach to, would go a long way to solving this.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Fri Dec 10, 2021 8:10 pm

kanban wrote:
Looking at the photos, there are a couple things I noticed. The mesh is apparently baked onto the surface, but there is no material penetration through the mesh. either the mesh screen size is too small or there is a material rejection that prevents penetration and extrusion to the paint side . there could also be an adhesion issue between the composite, adhesives, mesh and the surface layers. one picture shows the mesh is not attached to the substrate. Then there is the possibility of contamination or subsequent copper corrosion preventing the adhesion.

I maybe old fashioned but it looks like having a more open mesh, coating the meshed panel with Alodine for adhesion and verifying the underlaying adhesive layer actually penetrates the mesh so the subsequent layers have something to attach to, would go a long way to solving this.


My assumption is to retroactively strip the affected planes, reinstall a new mesh, and take the proactive steps you outlined would be quite costly and difficult. Is that correct, or is there a relatively simple and straightforward solution?
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Dec 10, 2021 9:02 pm

Revelation wrote:
ElroyJetson wrote:
I think you are correct in stating the grounding of the now 20 QR A350's may be due to the Qatari Regulator being conservative. I make this assumption based on statements made by Al Baker. His language seemed very careful, but he said several times that " there may or may not be an airworthiness issue, that has yet to be determined. ".

That sounds very lawyerly to me. I am obviously speculating, but that may have come from their regulatory authority. Interestingly, it does not appear that other regulatory bodies are in agreement with the Qataris.

I feel Airbus has the right to complain that QR and the Qatari regulator are creating the impression that this is a safety related issue, but also I'm surprised they are doing so in the very public way they are now doing.

IIRC all QR said is they planes are grounded at the request of their regulator, but neither them or the regulator has said more than that. I think they are creating the impression that it is an airworthiness issue without actually saying the planes are not airworthy.

... and no one has, yet, leaked the document to the press. Does it even exist? I've asked about it several time in this thread, to only hear crickets; that tells me it doesn't exist, especially since Qatar Airways, Qatar Aviation Authorities and the Qatari Government ate basically one and the same.

I agree it's never good to alienate a customer; but, sometimes (when the customer is not willing to work with you, as appears to be the case with QR), you gotta show the customer the middle finger. And that's what Airbus is doing right now.
 
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zeke
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Fri Dec 10, 2021 10:07 pm

kanban wrote:
Looking at the photos, there are a couple things I noticed. The mesh is apparently baked onto the surface, but there is no material penetration through the mesh. either the mesh screen size is too small or there is a material rejection that prevents penetration and extrusion to the paint side . there could also be an adhesion issue between the composite, adhesives, mesh and the surface layers. one picture shows the mesh is not attached to the substrate. Then there is the possibility of contamination or subsequent copper corrosion preventing the adhesion.

I maybe old fashioned but it looks like having a more open mesh, coating the meshed panel with Alodine for adhesion and verifying the underlaying adhesive layer actually penetrates the mesh so the subsequent layers have something to attach to, would go a long way to solving this.


No, the majority of the mesh is contained within a prepreg layer, where there are joins between different areas there is a transition. With the static discharger that is bonded to the surface at a much later stage (it is a replaceable item), they have transition as a pathway for static and lightning to leave the aircraft, which is just contained within filler.

Keep in mind the area covered by that static discharger photo is about the size of a cell phone.
 
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kanban
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 1:46 am

Zeke, it's fairly obvious that the mesh is not contained sufficiently in a prepreg layer. it was laid on top and the adhesive is not penetrating the meshto provide an attachment for the materials outside the mesh. Further because the A350 uses individual body panels there have to either be bonding and grounding straps between all panels. One might argue that the panel attach fasteners provide a current path through the support structure and hence connect al the panels, however if those fasteners and holes are prepared for corrosion protection using a de-burr, clean and prime (or alodine) process, there is no pathway. The chipping at the fastener locations is also worrying.

I am puzzled that after seeing the pictures that regulatory has not issued an inspection AD.

The customer is correct, this is sub-standard manufacturing.

Elroy, the panels can not be fixed or remade, however since Airbus chose composite panels bolted to a frame they can easily replace any affected panels (assuming they haven't changed the dimensions.)

I wonder if EASA and Airbus are caught in a self saving like the FAA and Boeing. There has got to be egg on someone's face.
 
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kanban
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 2:32 am

Over the years I have seen customers reject delivery or sections of paint the had an orange peel surface. I totally understand the customers anger when the plane's surface has leprosy.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 4:51 am

kanban wrote:
Zeke, it's fairly obvious that the mesh is not contained sufficiently in a prepreg layer. it was laid on top and the adhesive is not penetrating the meshto provide an attachment for the materials outside the mesh. Further because the A350 uses individual body panels there have to either be bonding and grounding straps between all panels. One might argue that the panel attach fasteners provide a current path through the support structure and hence connect al the panels, however if those fasteners and holes are prepared for corrosion protection using a de-burr, clean and prime (or alodine) process, there is no pathway. The chipping at the fastener locations is also worrying.

I am puzzled that after seeing the pictures that regulatory has not issued an inspection AD.

The customer is correct, this is sub-standard manufacturing

Elroy, the panels can not be fixed or remade, however since Airbus chose composite panels bolted to a frame they can easily replace any affected panels (assuming they haven't changed the dimensions.)

I wonder if EASA and Airbus are caught in a self saving like the FAA and Boeing. There has got to be egg on someone's face.


My assumption is exactly what you stated, Since the copper mesh is baked into the composite the only satisfactory repair would be replacing the entire composite panel with a likely new copper mesh substrate and adhesion process to fix the problem long term. I would imagine if there are multiple areas of skin degradation repairs could become very expensive. Hence the standoff between QR and Airbus.

I have also wondered about the relationship between the EASA and Airbus. I sincerely hope it is not like the FAA relationship was with Boeing pre MAX. They are regulators who's sole mission is public safety, not advocacy for their respective OEM's.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 5:12 am

I have a suspicious feeling that Airbus has not found a satisfactory solution or the solution they have will be really expensive.

Just replacing the panels will only kick the problem down the road if you don't have an adequate solution.

The principle of the mesh is straight forward but the nasty details of the joints and fasteners is making my head spin. I do have sympathy for the Airbus Engineers working this issue.

bt
 
Spetsnaz55
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 5:15 am

Haven't looked at those pics in a while, are the a350 composite panels fastened with sleeve bolts?
 
T4thH
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 7:17 am

bikerthai wrote:
I have a suspicious feeling that Airbus has not found a satisfactory solution or the solution they have will be really expensive.

Just replacing the panels will only kick the problem down the road if you don't have an adequate solution.

The principle of the mesh is straight forward but the nasty details of the joints and fasteners is making my head spin. I do have sympathy for the Airbus Engineers working this issue.

bt


But Airbus has found a solution for all others and all other plannes are still in the air. Repaint, in some cases, exchange the mesh/parts with the mesh and it is done. It impacts some parts and not the whole plane. Airbus will pay the repair and all associated cost or will repair it by themselve. All other airlines are fine with it. The issue is, Qatar Airways is not accepting any solutions, provided by Airbus, but it seems, they do not state, why they do not accept these solutions/ they have denied it without cause ("ohne ersichtlichen Grund"). And Qatar Airways still states, these are safety issues and as verified and clarified by the Eiropean Agency EASA, it is not an safety issue. Yes it is an issue in responsibility of Airbus and Airbus has to and is willed to repair it/to pay for the repair and to pay a compensation, but that`s all. And as said, all other airlines are fine with it.

As Airbus is not able to find a solution with Qatar Airways in one year, Airbus will now go to an independent evaluator, to clarify and to solve issue and this is the main part of the story.

Source is in German.
https://www.aero.de/news-41465/Airbus-sucht-im-Streit-mit-A350-Kunden-rechtliche-Klaerung.html
 
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zeke
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 7:28 am

kanban wrote:
Zeke, it's fairly obvious that the mesh is not contained sufficiently in a prepreg layer. it was laid on top and the adhesive is not penetrating the meshto provide an attachment for the materials outside the mesh.


I think you need to read my post again, the photos I saw do not show any exposed prepeg. What I saw was mesh in filler.

kanban wrote:
Further because the A350 uses individual body panels there have to either be bonding and grounding straps between all panels.


No, they don’t need straps between panels, and they don’t have any. They have a dedicated network to account for this. All of the A350’s metal parts —including aluminum seat rails and a mix of aluminum, aluminum/lithium alloy and titanium for lower frames and passenger cabin structural floor grid beams — do double duty. Each part has a structural function, and it also forms part of the overall electrical structure network (ESN) within the aircraft.

Image

kanban wrote:
I am puzzled that after seeing the pictures that regulatory has not issued an inspection AD.


On what basis, it’s been said numerous times it is not an airworthiness issue.

kanban wrote:
The customer is correct, this is sub-standard manufacturing.


They didn’t leave the factory looking like that, that is not what they looked like after they had been manufactured.
 
cedarjet
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Re: Qatar Airways grounds 13 A350’s

Sat Dec 11, 2021 8:37 am

Heavierthanair wrote:
G'day

ElroyJetson wrote:
The fact the Qatari regulators are involved is concerning.


Just to make it clear, Qatar the airline and the Qatar regulator are essentially the same thing, both are government owned. Airbus obviously did not find it necessary to meet the demands of U-turn Al for some time now - rightfully or not I do not know, so Al decided to make it more "official" by bringing in the regulator. As long as the A 350 can be flown it other countries we can assume there is no safety issue. I just wonder how much this exercise is going to cost Qatar and if they will get anything out of this :crazy:

Cheers

Peter

Just to make it clear, “Al” means “the”, as in Al-Bakr, “the Bakr”. Calling him The isn’t the shorthand you might think it is
 
brindabella
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 10:21 am

kanban wrote:
Looking at the photos, there are a couple things I noticed. The mesh is apparently baked onto the surface, but there is no material penetration through the mesh. either the mesh screen size is too small or there is a material rejection that prevents penetration and extrusion to the paint side . there could also be an adhesion issue between the composite, adhesives, mesh and the surface layers. one picture shows the mesh is not attached to the substrate. Then there is the possibility of contamination or subsequent copper corrosion preventing the adhesion.

I maybe old fashioned but it looks like having a more open mesh, coating the meshed panel with Alodine for adhesion and verifying the underlaying adhesive layer actually penetrates the mesh so the subsequent layers have something to attach to, would go a long way to solving this.


one picture shows the mesh is not attached to the substrate.

To a non-materials Engineering/non-structural Engineering type like me it is a worrying shot.

The plastic surface has degraded, the mesh is exposed, and under that?

Darkness.

Presumably giving access to the interior volume of the whole structure.

Again, it may be way less serious than it appears.

I hope so, as it really doesn't appear to be too healthy.

cheers
 
Noshow
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 10:27 am

It feels a bit like Airbus's "Boeing-MOL" moment with AAB right now.
Big customers are always right until they are not anymore.
 
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Polot
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 10:31 am

T4thH wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
I have a suspicious feeling that Airbus has not found a satisfactory solution or the solution they have will be really expensive.

Just replacing the panels will only kick the problem down the road if you don't have an adequate solution.

The principle of the mesh is straight forward but the nasty details of the joints and fasteners is making my head spin. I do have sympathy for the Airbus Engineers working this issue.

bt


But Airbus has found a solution for all others and all other plannes are still in the air. Repaint, in some cases, exchange the mesh/parts with the mesh and it is done. It impacts some parts and not the whole plane. Airbus will pay the repair and all associated cost or will repair it by themselve. All other airlines are fine with it. The issue is, Qatar Airways is not accepting any solutions, provided by Airbus, but it seems, they do not state, why they do not accept these solutions/ they have denied it without cause ("ohne ersichtlichen Grund"). And Qatar Airways still states, these are safety issues and as verified and clarified by the Eiropean Agency EASA, it is not an safety issue. Yes it is an issue in responsibility of Airbus and Airbus has to and is willed to repair it/to pay for the repair and to pay a compensation, but that`s all. And as said, all other airlines are fine with it.

As Airbus is not able to find a solution with Qatar Airways in one year, Airbus will now go to an independent evaluator, to clarify and to solve issue and this is the main part of the story.

Source is in German.
https://www.aero.de/news-41465/Airbus-sucht-im-Streit-mit-A350-Kunden-rechtliche-Klaerung.html

Without knowing the root cause of the issue that may not be a permanent fix. That could just be a temporary one until a few years later when the issue pops up again with the replacement paint/parts. Repainting and replacing mesh/parts ever few years is not an ideal solution, for airlines or Airbus, as over the life of the plane that gets quite expensive. It could also mean more rigorous inspection has to be applied (also not ideal).


Qatar clearly wants a one and done type fix.
 
Noshow
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 10:45 am

Who knows what they asked for?
 
BrianDromey
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 10:58 am

This came to light when QR were stripping an A350 to be painted into a special scheme, as I recall? Airbus repainted that aircraft in TLS and things have spiralled from there?


What we don’t know is the extent of this issue on other operators aircraft, but it does seem to be present. It’s unclear if it’s an issue with the skin itself, the priming process, the paints used or the painting process itself. Throw in some speculation about desert conditions and the truth is no-one knows publicly what’s going on.

The final piece of the puzzle is what QR want done. A repaint and repair of damaged sections, a reskin of the entire aircraft or something in between? The former seems reasonable, the latter not. But we are talking about an airline that rejected deliveries over interior finishes.
 
9Patch
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 11:08 am

zeke wrote:

kanban wrote:
The customer is correct, this is sub-standard manufacturing.


They didn’t leave the factory looking like that, that is not what they looked like after they had been manufactured.

No one said or even implied that they left the factory looking like that.
 
xl0hr
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 12:25 pm

9Patch wrote:
zeke wrote:

kanban wrote:
The customer is correct, this is sub-standard manufacturing.


They didn’t leave the factory looking like that, that is not what they looked like after they had been manufactured.

No one said or even implied that they left the factory looking like that.


I also wondered about that argument Zeke. I am impressed by your industry/regulation/technical knowledge and know that you know your A350 better than most but that is not an argument against undue degradation. (It's feels a bit like de Havilland arguing the Comet's rectangular windows were fine when delivered.)

Do you know something you cannot share or are you arguing based on your believe? (One might call the later partisan.)

edited for punctuation
 
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Revelation
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 2:26 pm

BrianDromey wrote:
This came to light when QR were stripping an A350 to be painted into a special scheme, as I recall? Airbus repainted that aircraft in TLS and things have spiralled from there?

The plane was repainted in Ireland, the problems were found, then the plane was then flown to TLS for investigation.

The final piece of the puzzle is what QR want done. A repaint and repair of damaged sections, a reskin of the entire aircraft or something in between?

QR is asking for a determination of the root cause, rather than a series of incremental fixes as each issue is encountered.

But we are talking about an airline that rejected deliveries over interior finishes.

That's what they should do. It's a premium product, the interior should be flawless at the time of delivery.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 2:57 pm

T4thH wrote:
But Airbus has found a solution for all others and all other plannes are still in the air. Repaint, in some cases, exchange the mesh/parts with the mesh and it is done. It impacts some parts and not the whole plane. Airbus will pay the repair and all associated cost or will repair it by themselve. All other airlines are fine with it. The issue is, Qatar Airways is not accepting any solutions, provided by Airbus, but it seems, they do not state, why they do not accept these solutions/ they have denied it without cause ("ohne ersichtlichen Grund"). And Qatar Airways still states, these are safety issues and as verified and clarified by the Eiropean Agency EASA, it is not an safety issue. Yes it is an issue in responsibility of Airbus and Airbus has to and is willed to repair it/to pay for the repair and to pay a compensation, but that`s all. And as said, all other airlines are fine with it.

As Airbus is not able to find a solution with Qatar Airways in one year, Airbus will now go to an independent evaluator, to clarify and to solve issue and this is the main part of the story.

Source is in German.
https://www.aero.de/news-41465/Airbus-sucht-im-Streit-mit-A350-Kunden-rechtliche-Klaerung.html

I appreciate your post, but I think important details are lost in translation.

Here are quotes from the Reuters article we've been discussing:

"They have acknowledged that they are working to find a solution, which means they still don't have a solution," Al Baker said on Tuesday, adding the Airbus problems were worse than current production flaws faced by the Boeing 787 (BA.N).

"And they don't have a solution because they still don't know why it is happening. You know it is always better when there is a problem to admit, not to put your customer in a corner and blame them for something which is actually your own problem."

Clearly he feels the idea of repainting and patching as each problem appears is not a solution. He seeks an understanding of the root cause of the "surface degradation" so it can be addressed at the root instead of patching/painting time and time again as the aircraft ages.

Qatar's national carrier has said it is progressively grounding its 53 A350s on orders from its regulator, until reasons for what witnesses describe as the blistered and pock-marked appearance of some the aircraft can be confirmed.

So Qatar Airways does not state these are safety issues, it just states it grounds planes based on orders of the Qatari regulator.

This of course creates the impression of a safety issue, but that's all it does. There are lots of reasons a regulator can ground a plane. The exact reason the Qatari regulator is grounding the planes has never been given as far as I know.

Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said in London last week, "we don't know if it is an airworthiness issue. We also don't know that it is not an airworthiness issue."

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has said "no potential airworthiness issue has been identified to date" and ruled out a link with a separate manufacturing flaw which prompted it to issue a draft safety directive for 13 A350s.

Again, both sides are picking words carefully. AAB is saying we don't know if it is or is not a safety issue. Airbus says we haven't identified it as a safety issue "to date". Once the root cause is understood, maybe it is a safety issue, maybe not.

Ref: https://www.reuters.com/business/aerosp ... 021-11-30/
Ref: https://www.reuters.com/business/aerosp ... 021-12-09/

Also, the Airbus presser says:

Toulouse, 9 December 2021 – In the face of the ongoing mischaracterisation of non-structural surface degradation on its fleet of A350 aircraft by one of its customers, it has become necessary for Airbus to seek an independent legal assessment as a way forward to resolve the dispute, which the two parties have been unable to settle during direct and open discussions.

An "independent legal assessment" is not "independent evaluator, to clarify and to solve issue", it's just a legal opinion. It will not necessarily solve anything. It isn't even arbitration. It's just Airbus asking external lawyers to study their legal position, rather than their in-house lawyers. It's just posturing, nothing more.

Ref: https://www.airbus.com/en/newsroom/pres ... esponse-to
Last edited by Revelation on Sat Dec 11, 2021 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 2:59 pm

Revelation wrote:
BrianDromey wrote:
But we are talking about an airline that rejected deliveries over interior finishes.

That's what they should do. It's a premium product, the interior should be flawless at the time of delivery.


Nah. There are commercial standards, and there's petty and manipulative. A contract clause of the form 'Paint and stitching shall be perfect. Perfect!' would not hold up in a U.S. court.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 3:07 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
That's what they should do. It's a premium product, the interior should be flawless at the time of delivery.

Nah. There are commercial standards, and there's petty and manipulative. A contract clause of the form 'Paint and stitching shall be perfect. Perfect!' would not hold up in a U.S. court.

Fair enough. I think we can at least agree that there is a standard to meet so customers can reject deliveries if the interior finish is substandard. It's enough leverage to get the vendor to address the problem since they won't want to hold on to the airplane waiting for a court decision. That is what happens in practice.
 
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 3:21 pm

Polot wrote:
Qatar clearly wants a one and done type fix.


I think it's fair to say Airbus wants it as well. There are still two differences:
1. what's done (we have no idea how long is "temporary", how long is "done", as I believe it is an area where maintetance is done every now and then, anyways)
2. who's gonna pay for all that.

We're still far from getting the facts on this.

Cheers,
Adam
 
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Revelation
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 3:36 pm

gloom wrote:
Polot wrote:
Qatar clearly wants a one and done type fix.

I think it's fair to say Airbus wants it as well. There are still two differences:
1. what's done (we have no idea how long is "temporary", how long is "done", as I believe it is an area where maintetance is done every now and then, anyways)
2. who's gonna pay for all that.

We're still far from getting the facts on this.

Cheers,
Adam

Personally, I think Airbus just wants to continue the patch and paint "solution" on each airplane till its warrantee period runs out, then each operator will take over and do it for the life time of the aircraft. That's what it's media approach seems to be trying to achieve. QR of course understands this is an expensive proposition and one does not know if the degradation accelerates as the aircraft ages so it could be even more costly over time, thus they want the root cause found and addressed.

That's why I think Airbus's choice to get an "independent legal assessment" was interesting. It commits them to nothing, other than paying lawyer's bills. They could have chosen to invoke arbitration clauses in the contracts, but that would compel them to comply with the arbitrator's findings.

it's an interesting process to watch just to see how these situations are dealt with. I have no dog in this fight, I don't really care what the outcome is. I suspect it'll be just like the MAX situation, money will change hands and the actual root cause will be hidden.
 
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zeke
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 4:43 pm

BrianDromey wrote:
This came to light when QR were stripping an A350 to be painted into a special scheme, as I recall? Airbus repainted that aircraft in TLS and things have spiralled from there?


As far as I am aware the aircraft went to TLS and remains unpainted, the offer was made to paint it.

xl0hr wrote:

Do you know something you cannot share or are you arguing based on your believe? (One might call the later partisan.)


The choice of paint system used for the livery is up to the customer, there are many options each has its positives and negatives. That livery was applied to their exacting standards, and accepted after they had throughly inspected it. The aircraft were of a very high standard leaving the factory, to maintain that standard also requires a higher level of maintenance.

After leaving the factory how an airline chooses to operate and maintain their aircraft is up to them, an expectation that no maintenance should be done is unreasonable, so is an expectation that it be always in maintenance is also unreasonable. As Airbus has mentioned the reliability rate in their press release it is clear to me they are demonstrating that the A350 is not a hanger queen.

That being said, they still need to maintain their aircraft, they need to allow sufficient time to maintain them.

An analogy would be tyres, the choice of tyre used is up to the customer, some are better if you do more sectors, some are lighter, some are cheaper. Tyres deteriorate with use, and even without use being exposed to the elements. One of the biggest factors in tyre wear is the taxi out for departure at high weights turning corners. A customer that does flights lighter weights at airports with simple taxi layouts will have better tyre wear than a customer that is always doing higher weight takeoffs from an airport with complicated taxi arrangements requiring a lot of turns.

Is the rate of tyre wear really a manufacturing issue, or an operating issue ? Do they replace tyres when they reach the limits, or do you wait for tyres to be totally destroyed. What would a reasonable operator maintain their tyres ?

So the customer complains after the tyres are totally destroyed, to keep them happy you offer to fit new tyres on their original rims. The customer rejects the offer, they want new tyres, new rims, and new brakes. Replacing the tyres was already bending over backwards for something the operator should have done, the additional requirements are simply unreasonable.
 
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 4:54 pm

zeke wrote:

The choice of paint system used for the livery is up to the customer, there are many options each has its positives and negatives. That livery was applied to their exacting standards, and accepted after they had throughly inspected it. The aircraft were of a very high standard leaving the factory, to maintain that standard also requires a higher level of maintenance.

After leaving the factory how an airline chooses to operate and maintain their aircraft is up to them, an expectation that no maintenance should be done is unreasonable, so is an expectation that it be always in maintenance is also unreasonable. As Airbus has mentioned the reliability rate in their press release it is clear to me they are demonstrating that the A350 is not a hanger queen.

That being said, they still need to maintain their aircraft, they need to allow sufficient time to maintain them.

An analogy would be tyres, the choice of tyre used is up to the customer, some are better if you do more sectors, some are lighter, some are cheaper. Tyres deteriorate with use, and even without use being exposed to the elements. One of the biggest factors in tyre wear is the taxi out for departure at high weights turning corners. A customer that does flights lighter weights at airports with simple taxi layouts will have better tyre wear than a customer that is always doing higher weight takeoffs from an airport with complicated taxi arrangements requiring a lot of turns.

Is the rate of tyre wear really a manufacturing issue, or an operating issue ? Do they replace tyres when they reach the limits, or do you wait for tyres to be totally destroyed. What would a reasonable operator maintain their tyres ?

So the customer complains after the tyres are totally destroyed, to keep them happy you offer to fit new tyres on their original rims. The customer rejects the offer, they want new tyres, new rims, and new brakes. Replacing the tyres was already bending over backwards for something the operator should have done, the additional requirements are simply unreasonable.

The problem you are making is you are automatically assuming that this issue is because Qatar is not or improperly maintaining their aircraft.

Frankly we don’t have enough information to know if that is the case, and your automatic dismissals that this could be a production or design issue makes you look very partisan. Not every production/design issue is visible at time of delivery. Not every production or design issue is super serious effecting flight safety. QR seems to have no problems with their other fleets, so why the A350 one?

And tires (automotive ones at least, unsure about aircraft) get recalled all the time because of manufacturing defects increasing the likelihood of things like blowouts.
 
Noshow
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 4:59 pm

Some of the pictures seem to show static dischargers and paint heat damage, like after lightning strikes. So it could be a case of very bad weather encounter as well without any bad maintenance or manufacturing and durability defects.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 5:09 pm

I think this comes down to similar statements made by both Airbus and QR. What is the root cause of the problem?

Airbus has said they believe they understand the cause but more testing is needed. QR is claiming Airbus is working to find a solution, but has not found a solution yet. In my opinion, both parties are probably telling the truth. My guess is the ultimate fix will be costly. QR understands this, and certainly Airbus understands this.

Who pays?

In a nutshell, that is what the dispute is about. If, as some have speculated, the long term solution is a replacement of the composite panels with a new embedded mesh substrate and adhesion process, we are likely talking big money. Airbus no doubt wants operators to incur the cost and do frequent patch and repair. QR wants its planes fixed with a permanent solution so the problem does not keep reoccurring. I don't blame them.

However, a permanent fix may be too costly from Airbus' perspective. So what to do? Should be fascinating to see what the final resolution will be.
 
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REDHL
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 5:17 pm

The UK Investment Minister has offered to mediate between the disputing parties.

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerosp ... 021-12-10/
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 5:24 pm

Polot wrote:
zeke wrote:

The choice of paint system used for the livery is up to the customer, there are many options each has its positives and negatives. That livery was applied to their exacting standards, and accepted after they had throughly inspected it. The aircraft were of a very high standard leaving the factory, to maintain that standard also requires a higher level of maintenance.

After leaving the factory how an airline chooses to operate and maintain their aircraft is up to them, an expectation that no maintenance should be done is unreasonable, so is an expectation that it be always in maintenance is also unreasonable. As Airbus has mentioned the reliability rate in their press release it is clear to me they are demonstrating that the A350 is not a hanger queen.

That being said, they still need to maintain their aircraft, they need to allow sufficient time to maintain them.

An analogy would be tyres, the choice of tyre used is up to the customer, some are better if you do more sectors, some are lighter, some are cheaper. Tyres deteriorate with use, and even without use being exposed to the elements. One of the biggest factors in tyre wear is the taxi out for departure at high weights turning corners. A customer that does flights lighter weights at airports with simple taxi layouts will have better tyre wear than a customer that is always doing higher weight takeoffs from an airport with complicated taxi arrangements requiring a lot of turns.

Is the rate of tyre wear really a manufacturing issue, or an operating issue ? Do they replace tyres when they reach the limits, or do you wait for tyres to be totally destroyed. What would a reasonable operator maintain their tyres ?

So the customer complains after the tyres are totally destroyed, to keep them happy you offer to fit new tyres on their original rims. The customer rejects the offer, they want new tyres, new rims, and new brakes. Replacing the tyres was already bending over backwards for something the operator should have done, the additional requirements are simply unreasonable.

The problem you are making is you are automatically assuming that this issue is because Qatar is not or improperly maintaining their aircraft.

Frankly we don’t have enough information to know if that is the case, and your automatic dismissals that this could be a production or design issue makes you look very partisan. Not every production/design issue is visible at time of delivery. Not every production or design issue is super serious effecting flight safety. QR seems to have no problems with their other fleets, so why the A350 one?

And tires (automotive ones at least, unsure about aircraft) get recalled all the time because of manufacturing defects increasing the likelihood of things like blowouts.


I asked the question earlier in this thread if QR has a reputation for poor or shoddy maintenance. The response back was all the ME3 have an excellent reputation for maintenance, among the best in the industry. No one came forward with any anecdotes of poor maintenance by QR. Doesn't mean it can't happen, but no negative statements were made.

The airlines identified with having skin degradation problems include LH, CX, DL among others. I know LH as an example, has a reputation for one of the best maintenance departments in the industry. DL and CX to my knowledge are highly regarded as well.

I think based on the operators involved, it's a bit of a stretch to attribute this problem to poor maintenance. Something clearly is going on, what exactly is unclear, but I don't think it comes down to poor maintenance.
 
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Polot
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 5:34 pm

ElroyJetson wrote:
Polot wrote:
zeke wrote:

The choice of paint system used for the livery is up to the customer, there are many options each has its positives and negatives. That livery was applied to their exacting standards, and accepted after they had throughly inspected it. The aircraft were of a very high standard leaving the factory, to maintain that standard also requires a higher level of maintenance.

After leaving the factory how an airline chooses to operate and maintain their aircraft is up to them, an expectation that no maintenance should be done is unreasonable, so is an expectation that it be always in maintenance is also unreasonable. As Airbus has mentioned the reliability rate in their press release it is clear to me they are demonstrating that the A350 is not a hanger queen.

That being said, they still need to maintain their aircraft, they need to allow sufficient time to maintain them.

An analogy would be tyres, the choice of tyre used is up to the customer, some are better if you do more sectors, some are lighter, some are cheaper. Tyres deteriorate with use, and even without use being exposed to the elements. One of the biggest factors in tyre wear is the taxi out for departure at high weights turning corners. A customer that does flights lighter weights at airports with simple taxi layouts will have better tyre wear than a customer that is always doing higher weight takeoffs from an airport with complicated taxi arrangements requiring a lot of turns.

Is the rate of tyre wear really a manufacturing issue, or an operating issue ? Do they replace tyres when they reach the limits, or do you wait for tyres to be totally destroyed. What would a reasonable operator maintain their tyres ?

So the customer complains after the tyres are totally destroyed, to keep them happy you offer to fit new tyres on their original rims. The customer rejects the offer, they want new tyres, new rims, and new brakes. Replacing the tyres was already bending over backwards for something the operator should have done, the additional requirements are simply unreasonable.

The problem you are making is you are automatically assuming that this issue is because Qatar is not or improperly maintaining their aircraft.

Frankly we don’t have enough information to know if that is the case, and your automatic dismissals that this could be a production or design issue makes you look very partisan. Not every production/design issue is visible at time of delivery. Not every production or design issue is super serious effecting flight safety. QR seems to have no problems with their other fleets, so why the A350 one?

And tires (automotive ones at least, unsure about aircraft) get recalled all the time because of manufacturing defects increasing the likelihood of things like blowouts.


I asked the question earlier in this thread if QR has a reputation for poor or shoddy maintenance. The response back was all the ME3 have an excellent reputation for maintenance, among the best in the industry. No one came forward with any anecdotes of poor maintenance by QR. Doesn't mean it can't happen, but no negative statements were made.

The airlines identified with having skin degradation problems include LH, CX, DL among others. I know LH as an example, has a reputation for one of the best maintenance departments in the industry. DL and CX to my knowledge are highly regarded as well.

I think based on the operators involved, it's a bit of a stretch to attribute this problem to poor maintenance. Something clearly is going on, what exactly is unclear, but I don't think it comes down to poor maintenance.


I pointed out a week or so ago that it is entirely possible that this is the result of Airbus’s approved lightning strike repair/inspection procedure not working as intended. It’s possible the “repair” doesn’t actually fully rectify the damage, with it most apparent in extreme temperatures where metal mesh can expand/contract the most.

Is this a design/production issue? Not necessarily, but it is possible that the design or the production of the lightning protection grid makes it difficult or impossible to fully repair as intended, which could be why Airbus is looking into changing it.

Is this the result of improper maintenance and absolves Airbus of all responsibility? No, in this case QR is following approved maintenance, it’s just not working as expected. Airbus has a responsibility to make sure their approved maintenance practices get their product back to normal, and if not have to give guidance on future inspections/repairs that will be required.

Is this a flight safety issue? No not necessarily. The repaired lightning protection system may still do the job. Airlines in extreme conditions will just have to deal with crumbling paint and exposed grid all the time. Which means while the repair may work from a safety prospective it isn’t exactly ideal.

Would this be visible and known at time of delivery? No, of course not.
 
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Wildlander
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 6:15 pm

Airbus continues to deliver new-build airframes to other customers who, if they subscribe to the worst-case speculation, would surely have demanded contractual guarantees that Airbus pick up the tab should they suffer the same issue. If so, Airbus is commited to spending whatever this entails. What could it be that is so different and preventing resolution of the QR dispute? Significant financial compensation for the grounded aircraft that is deemed unreasonable perhaps?

QR are said to demand particularly high quality standards of all their suppliers - nothing wrong with that but building a perfect airliner is a tough ask - most other airlines are more willing to accept financial concessions or commitments to compensate for performance shortfalls or to remedy minor defects post delivery.

QR, like other airlines, will have become masters of racheting up expectations as each new order is negotiated. Past concessions, discounts, warranty terms are the starting point from which a much better deal is expected. Maybe the cost of meeting the strict QR quality at delivery, warranty terms and pricing expectations, not to mention the amount of senior executive time required and the perpepual risk of bad publicity has finally reached a point where doing business with them is unattractive?
 
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Revelation
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 6:20 pm

REDHL wrote:
The UK Investment Minister has offered to mediate between the disputing parties.

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerosp ... 021-12-10/

Baron Grimstone of Boscobel will sort things out no doubt, all that banking knowledge will come in handy... :sarcastic:

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_Gri ... f_Boscobel
 
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 6:31 pm

Revelation wrote:
That's why I think Airbus's choice to get an "independent legal assessment" was interesting. It commits them to nothing, other than paying lawyer's bills. They could have chosen to invoke arbitration clauses in the contracts, but that would compel them to comply with the arbitrator's findings.


Reuters reported two days ago: "The legal step taken by Airbus comes under a contract clause allowing for arbitration".

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerosp ... 021-12-09/

The first step is always to clarify your position as part of the arbitration process. Getting representation from an external and independent law firm is always advisable.
 
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Polot
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 6:40 pm

reidar76 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
That's why I think Airbus's choice to get an "independent legal assessment" was interesting. It commits them to nothing, other than paying lawyer's bills. They could have chosen to invoke arbitration clauses in the contracts, but that would compel them to comply with the arbitrator's findings.


Reuters reported two days ago: "The legal step taken by Airbus comes under a contract clause allowing for arbitration".

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerosp ... 021-12-09/

The first step is always to clarify your position as part of the arbitration process. Getting representation from an external and independent law firm is always advisable.

The interesting part isn’t that Airbus hired independent legal assessment. It’s that they released a press release announcing it.
 
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kanban
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 7:02 pm

To keep the photos easily accessible here's the link https://www.reuters.com/business/aerosp ... 021-11-29/

Look at photo 6, no amount of paint is going to smooth over that mesh sticking up. the fact that it is sticking up means it is not imbedded in the panel. looking again at the other photos none of the exposed mesh is imbedded. looking at the paint surfaces, none appear to have been stripped for repaint. I would wager that if this plane flew even for a short hop, most of the painted surface would be stripped by the air currents. The fasteners daubing looks like a maintenance stop gap to prevent further degradation and not a retouch by a repair process specification.

the other intriguing thing is how the damage ends in straight lines or at visible section joints. As I recall Airbus farmed out some of it's panel manufacture.. could all this be due to one subcontractor whose manufacturing processes are contaminated, incomplete and or un observed by QA?
 
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reidar76
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 7:03 pm

ElroyJetson wrote:
it's a bit of a stretch to attribute this problem to poor maintenance. Something clearly is going on, what exactly is unclear, but I don't think it comes down to poor maintenance.


I don't think anyone have said poor maintenance. I think this is about the aircraft requiring more frequent maintenance than QR anticipated or was promised by Airbus.

QR wants a permanent solution that reduces the required maintenance intervalls, a solution Airbus is probably working on. In the mean time QR is not willing to patch and repaint the affected aircraft, even though Airbus will pay for it. QR fears that the permanent solution Airbus is working on might not be available for already delivered aircraft?

The Qatar CAA have grounded aircraft that QR have not performed the required maintenance (patch and repaint), as QR want Airbus to find a more permanent solution for their aircraft.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 7:23 pm

reidar76 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
That's why I think Airbus's choice to get an "independent legal assessment" was interesting. It commits them to nothing, other than paying lawyer's bills. They could have chosen to invoke arbitration clauses in the contracts, but that would compel them to comply with the arbitrator's findings.

Reuters reported two days ago: "The legal step taken by Airbus comes under a contract clause allowing for arbitration".

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerosp ... 021-12-09/

The first step is always to clarify your position as part of the arbitration process. Getting representation from an external and independent law firm is always advisable.

I get what you are saying, but as far as we know they haven't crossed the point of no return yet, which was the point I was trying to make. So far it's all just posturing, AFAIK.

reidar76 wrote:
I don't think anyone have said poor maintenance. I think this is about the aircraft requiring more frequent maintenance than QR anticipated or was promised by Airbus.

QR wants a permanent solution that reduces the required maintenance intervalls, a solution Airbus is probably working on. In the mean time QR is not willing to patch and repaint the affected aircraft, even though Airbus will pay for it. QR fears that the permanent solution Airbus is working on might not be available for already delivered aircraft?

The Qatar CAA have grounded aircraft that QR have not performed the required maintenance (patch and repaint), as QR want Airbus to find a more permanent solution for their aircraft.

Since you are good at finding things, how do we know AIrbus is willing to pay for it all?

The Reuters article just said:

Mhun said Airbus had offered solutions to Qatar Airways from patches, to repairs of the anti-lightning material or repainting of entire aircraft, but Qatar Airways had declined the offer.

So "solutions" are being offered, but no statement on whether Airbus is paying for all or some of the "solution".

My mechanic offers me "solutions", but if it is something not covered by warranty I am the one paying for them.

I will also point out if the root cause is not determined it is not a solution, it is a mitigation.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 8:05 pm

kanban wrote:
To keep the photos easily accessible here's the link https://www.reuters.com/business/aerosp ... 021-11-29/

Look at photo 6, no amount of paint is going to smooth over that mesh sticking up. the fact that it is sticking up means it is not imbedded in the panel. looking again at the other photos none of the exposed mesh is imbedded. looking at the paint surfaces, none appear to have been stripped for repaint. I would wager that if this plane flew even for a short hop, most of the painted surface would be stripped by the air currents. The fasteners daubing looks like a maintenance stop gap to prevent further degradation and not a retouch by a repair process specification.

the other intriguing thing is how the damage ends in straight lines or at visible section joints. As I recall Airbus farmed out some of it's panel manufacture.. could all this be due to one subcontractor whose manufacturing processes are contaminated, incomplete and or un observed by QA?


To me it doesn't appear to be a panel joint, but it is the edge of the expanded metal mesh. On something where thickness and weight are important doing a butt joint with a minimal gap is much better than a lap joint. The failure mechanism of the initial cracks allowing for moisture intrusion with its freeze thaw damage is clearly active in picture 6, but its not jumping across this mesh joint to the next section, its still working as designed. But what are the causes that damage one section but not another.

The intact areas shown in #6 are smooth, the debonded areas have picked up the mesh texture, corrosion in steels the rust pack is often 10x the volume of the base metal. This corrosion could have caused the mesh humps, with the valleys being where the coating had bonded to the substrate right up to the point where it debonded, creating the texture.

Your point of the damage being in the air currents, stripping sections right off, seems quite valid.
 
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JerseyFlyer
Posts: 1991
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 7:24 pm

Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 8:31 pm

I remain unconvinced that QR has flown any aircraft in the state depicted in the photos. I suggest the photos are taken AFTER intrusive digging under flaws visible on the surface. Not that simplifies the rectification in any way.
 
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ElroyJetson
Posts: 1248
Joined: Fri May 26, 2017 5:04 am

Re: Updated: Airbus goes legal as Qatar Airways jet row escalates

Sat Dec 11, 2021 9:04 pm

reidar76 wrote:
ElroyJetson wrote:
it's a bit of a stretch to attribute this problem to poor maintenance. Something clearly is going on, what exactly is unclear, but I don't think it comes down to poor maintenance.


I don't think anyone have said poor maintenance. I think this is about the aircraft requiring more frequent maintenance than QR anticipated or was promised by Airbus.

QR wants a permanent solution that reduces the required maintenance intervalls, a solution Airbus is probably working on. In the mean time QR is not willing to patch and repaint the affected aircraft, even though Airbus will pay for it. QR fears that the permanent solution Airbus is working on might not be available for already delivered aircraft?

The Qatar CAA have grounded aircraft that QR have not performed the required maintenance (patch and repaint), as QR want Airbus to find a more permanent solution for their aircraft.



I agree with your assessment.

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