Why TRASH a $15 million A380 engine?

Blade off testing is a specific form of air safety testing required by the Federal Aviation Administration  for A380 and other planes. This test conducted to certify safety performance of jet engines. The tests are specified by Title 14, Part 33 Subpart F, 33.94 of the US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Blade containment and rotor unbalance tests.[1]

The blade-off test, in which a fan blade is deliberately detached by the testing engineers while the engine is running at maximum thrust, is done to make sure that the engine can survive a compressor/fan blade breaking off within the engine and a turbine blade breaking off within the engine, without fragments being thrown through the outside enclosure of the engine. The test does not require that the engines continue to operate after the blade failures, only that no fragments penetrate the engine outer casing and that it not vibrate badly enough during its shutdown that it will tear loose from the aircraft, barring other failures.

The containment requirement and testing requirement were imposed after review of the history of uncontained engine failures which caused serious damage to aircraft. The rule did not apply to engines which were already in service, and an uncontained engine failure of the Number 2 (tail) General Electric CF6 engine of United Airlines Flight 232 on July 19, 1989, caused the hydraulic failure and crash landing of that aircraft and thus strict safety regulations were put in place in order to avoid any future incidents from happening again.

The tests and standard do not require that the engines continue to operate after the blade failures, only that no fragments penetrate the engine outer casing and that it does not vibrate badly enough during its shutdown that it will tear loose from the aircraft, barring other failures.

Also read : Why aeroplanes windows are round instead of square?

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