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Cracks found in limited number of Airbus A380 wings

ENGINEERS have discovered minor cracks in the wings of a ‘limited number’ of Airbus planes.

The plane-making giant has said the safety of the A380 superjumbos is not affected by the cracks in the wings – which are built at the company’s Broughton plant.

Last week it was reported tiny cracks had appeared on wings of five aircraft including two in service, one with Quantas and another with Singapore Airlines.

“We confirm that minor cracks were found on some non-critical wing rib-skin attachments on a limited number of A380 aircraft,” an Airbus spokesman told the Chronicle.

“We have traced the origin. Airbus has developed an inspection and repair procedure which will be done during routine, scheduled, four-year maintenance checks.

“In the meantime, Airbus emphasises that the safe operation of the A380 fleet is not affected.”

The spokesman added: “The European Aviation Safety Agency is in line with the Airbus approach.

“Airbus has informed all A380 operators.”

Reports from Australia said the first crack barely visible to the human eye, was spotted on a Quantas A380 undergoing a $130m repair job in Singapore after a 2010 engine blowout. At first, the discovery was believed to be related to the explosion on an inboard Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine but the cause was later proved to be separate.