Airbus is starting repair process of defective parts of the A400M engines that caused the latest problems in the military airlifter assembled in Seville.
The A400M will be updated with a new Propeller Gear Box (PGB) which has already been approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), according to El Diario de Sevilla report.
Initially, the first replacements were scheduled to be made in September, but Airbus now has managed to advance the process by a month and a half, report says.
The defect, identified earlier this year, affects two of the aircraft’s four engines -- those that turn clockwise – where cracks have been found in the PGB which caused the release of metal parts into the oil system. This, in extreme situations, could cause the engine to stop in midair.
In the past months Airbus Defence and Space, the division responsible for the A400M program, has worked in close cooperation with the supplier of the gearboxes, Avio (an Italian subsidiary of General Electric), to develop a defect-free replacement part. This new part received the relevant certification by the EASA on July 8, allowing it to be installed on military aircraft.
This is only an interim solution, and the company plans to have a definitive fix in place sometime next year. But it will at least serve as a temporary remedy, allowing aircraft to which it is fitted to be inspected every 650 flight hours, instead of every 200 as is now the case, giving them more autonomy and allowing them to operate almost normally.