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New Airbus A380 scrapes wing tip while taxiing for demonstration flight in Bangkok

New Airbus A380 scrapes wing tip while taxiing for demonstration flight in Bangkok

An Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger jet, scraped a wing tip on a building at Bangkok's international airport Saturday as the plane prepared for a demonstration flight, officials said.
No injuries were reported.
The A380, which had been taxiing with journalists and VIP guests on board, suffered minor damage that delayed its planned flight to the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai by about three hours, officials from Airbus and Thai Airways said.
After production problems caused a delay of more than a year, Airbus is scheduled to deliver its first A380, which seats 555 people, to Singapore Airlines in October. The plane that arrived in Bangkok on Friday from Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France, is making a demonstration tour of Asia and will also visit Vietnam, Hong Kong, and South Korea.
Officials said the accident at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport was related to the unusually long wingspan of the plane, for which the hanger whose door it hit had not been designed.
"It was not due to problems with traffic control or human error of the captain," said Thai Airways President Apinan Sumanaseni.
He said that the plane's left winglet had been damaged, and that engineers would remove the winglets ahead of the postponed flight. A winglet tips up and back from the end of a wing, improving aerodynamic efficiency.
"The device removed is useful, but we can fly without it," said Terry Lutz, the plane's captain and head test pilot for Airbus. "I don't think it will affect the operation of the aircraft at all."
In a press release last month, Airbus said its demonstration tours are meant to help prepare the A380 "for a smooth entry into service."
"Operating under typical airline conditions, (the) aircraft will undergo airport compatibility checks, ground handling and maintenance procedures to confirm its readiness to enter service," the company said.
By mid-August, the A380 had already visited more than 45 airports worldwide, and more than 70 airports will be ready for the plane by 2011, it said.
"Total orders and commitments for the A380 are 173 by 14 customers," it said, adding that delivery schedules for Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airlines and Qantas are on track.
An Airbus representative said Saturday's incident would not affect the plane's profile in Asia.
"This kind of incident happens at every airport around the world. It is just a minor incident," said Edouard Ullmo, Airbus sales executive vice president for Asia-Pacific and Africa.


Updated : 2021-04-15 01:13 GMT+08:00