Engineers call for grounding of A380 after cracks found in wings

The Daily Mail reports this evening that cracks found in the wing sections of several Airbus A380 jumbo jets have led to deep concern among a group of Australian aircraft engineers. Calling for the grounding of all A380 aircraft, the group highlighted recent faults uncovered in the wing structures of several Singapore Airlines and Qantas jets in their complaint.

Acknowledging the cracks, the airlines and manufacturer claim that the faults are in non-critical sections of the wings and that an easy detection and repair method has been identified. None of the seven current carriers that operate the aircraft are planning on taking the equipment out of service.

Nevertheless, news of the cracks is a significant concern for Airbus, which has been struggling to compete in a market that’s quickly moving towards smaller, more fuel efficient equipment. With the earliest delivery of their next generation aircraft slated for late 2013 2014, they need to rely on sales of the A380 to propel revenue. If technical difficulties keep plaguing the A380, it could significantly impact the future of the company.

[flickr image via Jlcwalker]