gads.. I've learned that when non lawyers start quoting contracts, law, etc., while they do it with the purest of intent, they are usually wrong when the issue is adjudicated or goes to arbitration. We all think we can read contracts, law, and fine print, but it is never that simple ,if it were we wouldn't need scores of lawyers.
There are really only a couple solid facts here: 1) 21 aircraft are grounded with deteriorating surfaces between the copper mesh and the final paint. 2)Airbus says that's normal, QR and several others say it's not. 3) Whatever the contracts say, the repair is not easy or cheap and may require a complete remanufacture of some or all of the composite structures. 4) Airbus wants arbitration to decide if it has to pay, if it doesn't 21 aircraft are headed to the scrappers since the tooling and repair processes are currently outside an airlines capability. 5) there are appearances of a Boeing/FAA coziness between Airbus and EASA and QR and their regulatory.
Everything else is just barroom noise.
1) "grounded" by only one CAA worldwide, and said CAA might be too cozy with the airline.
2) EASA says it's not an airworthiness issue.
4) how do you know "tooling and repair processes are currently outside an airlines capability"?
5) if there was coziness between Airbus and EASA, why hasn't CAAs (such as the FAA) grounded the A350?
Sorry, but you're trying to shoot down assumptions by making even bigger assumptions.
Well first who gets the repair procedure certified, I believe the OEM has done basic repair procedures for ramp rash, but the big stuff has been repaired by the OEM or one of its subcontractors. This is most certainly above any airlines capability, with possible exception of the top ranked ones like LH that performs lots of maintenance.
It's a tough fix, some factors I see are:
1) How to remove the remaining coatings between the structural shell and the mesh, the fasteners were install through it all, leaving little washers of crud at every of the bazillion fasteners on the plane.
2) How to clean the back side of the copper mesh, possibly remove all oxidation and corrosion, and prime it. Does that primer affect the shell resin or fiber.
3) What to do with the solvents, cleaners, and primers that ran under all those washers of crud.
4) Where mesh is lost, how is the new piece patched in, it must have new mesh installed. But the existing is attached by said fasteners noted in #1. Somehow the mesh needs to be electrically connected but lap splices bump the surface.
5) To install the mesh the existing fasteners in the area requiring replacement need to be removed. However, many areas on the wings are over tanks, where the fastener tips can spark in lightning. Special procedures required. Even worse is the underside of the wing, as the fasteners need to also be leak tight.
6) Once the mesh is cleaned and primed it needs to be pushed down snug when applying the coating over the mesh.
7) The surface of the coating in 6 needs to be smooth with little ripples, the profiles were already improved for drag just removing the roughness of the fasteners, its got to be smooth like a car is. Between the coating application and cure, what keeps the mesh from popping back up.
8) The bad news - the mesh is 0.5 mm and when the thickness exceeds 1.0 mm using material with a specific gravity of 1.5 the OEW rises from current. Thicknesses here are my own estimate as the replaced aluminum is around 3 mm.
Kanban's summary outline of the problem seems about right. It's not much different than the RR T1000 problems, coatings on the blades were not having the expected engine life between repairs. It was a three ring circus with airlines not having their planes for months. Prior to these problems RR was landing around half of the 787 orders, after it was below 1/3. This experience may have soured the relationship between QR and Airbus, but their A350 fleet is among the largest for the model. Other airlines considering the A350 will investigate this issue and may go elsewhere if they are not satisfied. Right now the 787 sales have flatlined since the barrel join issues came to light, won't return until the issue is resolved.