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World's largest aircraft has an engine blowout

Last updated on: November 4, 2010 12:07 IST

World's largest aircraft has an engine blowout

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A Qantas Airlines A-380 aircraft made an emergency landing at Singapore's Changi Airport on Thursday.

The double-decker plane, flight QF32 bound for Sydney from Singapore, was carrying 433 passengers and 26 crew when it ran into trouble shortly after take-off and had to return to the city-state's Changi Airport leaving a trail of smoke

The news.com.au web site quoted Indonesian media reports, as saying there had been some sort of explosion over the Indonesian island of Batam, near Singapore, at about 9.15 am local time.

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Image: Qantas Airways A-380 passenger plane QF32 with its partially damaged engine sits on the tarmac after making an emergency landing at Changi airport in Singapore
Photographs: David Loh/Reuters
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Tatang Kurnia, head of Indonesia's Transportation Safety Board, said the explosion came from a Qantas plane that had just lifted off from Singapore.

"We have been informed from Singapore that a Qantas plane overflying the area de-fuelled and then made an emergency landing back in Singapore," he told MetroTV.

Qantas says the plane, flying from Singapore to Sydney, experienced engine problems.

"Qantas flight QF32 was en route from Singapore to Sydney, the number two engine has shut down, so as a precautionary measure we are taking it back to Singapore," A Qantas spokeswoman said.


Image: The Qantas Airways 380 passenger plane flight QF32 is sprayed by rescue services
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters
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World's largest aircraft has an engine blowout

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Qantas chief executive officer, Alan Joyce, said the aircraft and its engine were new.

''We have decided that we will suspend all A380 takeoffs until we are fully comfortable that sufficient information has been obtained about QF32,'' he told media persons in Sydney.

''We will suspend those A380 services until we are completely confident that Qantas safety requirements have been met.''



Image: A Qantas Airways 380 passenger plane flight QF32 sits on the tarmac
Photographs: David Loh/Reuters
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Joyce said the suspensions were a precaution until Qantas was understood the reasons for Thursday's incident.

He stressed that Thursday's incident was the first ''issue' that had occurred 'with this engine'.

Qantas has never had a fatal accident.

A mid-air explosion blew a minivan-size hole in the side of a Qantas 747-400 in 2008, which Australian air safety investigators blamed on an oxygen bottle.



Image: Airport ground crew stands near the partially damaged engine
Photographs: David Loh/Reuters
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Some facts about the A-380 aircraft:

1) The double-decker A-380 measures 73 metres in length.

2) Its wingspan is 79.75 metres, its wing area is 845 square metres, enough to park 72 medium-sized cars on each wing.

3) It has 50 per cent more floor space than the next biggest aircraft, the Boeing 747 jumbo.

4) It is 24.45 metres high, about the same height as a seven-storey building.

5) It can carry 853 passengers in an all-economy configuration.

6) The A380 has 530 kilometres of wiring, roughly equivalent to the distance between Frankfurt and Paris.

7) The project was delayed 18 months at an additional cost of about $6 billion, Airbus estimates.




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