Airbus Targets Aggressive A350 Maintenance Plan

By Paul Seidenman
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
July 22, 2013

For the A350, Airbus is targeting a 10% reduction in direct maintenance costs compared to the rival Boeing 787-9, and as much as 40% against the 777-200ER. The A350's airframe is 53% carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), along with 14% titanium. As a result, Airbus notes that maintenance tasks with heavy access requirements—the D check—have been extended to at least 12 years. Given the use of corrosion- and fatigue-free CFRP, as well as the corrosion-free titanium, the former six-year checks will be split into different base checks at 36-month intervals of 4-5 days.

By design, the A350 will have 20 fewer A checks compared with current generation aircraft over a 12-year period, factoring an annual utilization of 4,700 flight hours. For the same 12 years, the OEM wants to reduce C checks to four from eight, and eliminate the six-year heavy check, with the first heavy check at 12 years.

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