Commentaries

Singapore Airline first A350 (9V-SMA) - When will we see her In Singapore

Commentaries
Updated
 

Singapore Airlines first A350-900 (9V-SMA), the aircraft took to the air for the first time on 2nd of Feb 2016 and on 18 Feb 2016, she perform the customer Acceptance Flight. Singapore Airline has confirmed that 9V-SMA will be in Singapore on 3rd March 2015, leaving Toulouse on 2nd March 2016 

When an aircraft completes its first test flight, it is not delivered immediately. There are many certifications a new aircraft needs to undergo before they are issued with a Certificate of Airworthiness. This also means that the aircraft may get more than 1 airborne flight test even before the delivery process which involved the customer is started.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 cn 026 F-WZFU // 9V-SMA

9V-SMA at Airbus facility in Toulouse Photo by Clément Alloing

From Singapore Airline A350 (9V-SMA) first flight to today, 2 more airborne flights was recorded. Usually these additional flights are for additional testing and certification purposes. When the performance and characteristic of the aircraft meet the requirement set out by varies certification requirements, the aircraft is ready for delivery.

Even when Singapore Airline first A350 (9V-SMA) is said to be ready for delivery, it will not be delivered to Singapore immediately. Singapore Airlines will have to send a team of people to do pre-acceptance inspection. This process usually takes 5 days.

  • Day 1 - ground checks: external surfaces, bays and cabin visual inspection, static aircraft system and cockpit checks, engine tests.
  • Day 2 - acceptance flight: checks during flight of all aircraft systems (including cabin systems) and aircraft behaviour due the whole flight
  • Day 3 – Rework or solutions to the problems raised by the customer
  • Day 4 - Completion of technical acceptance. This will contain all the documents and test reports that would allow an aircraft to obtain a Certificate of Airworthiness
  • Day 5 – Transfers of title deed to the customer and preparing for the delivery flight.

Singapore Airline A359 (9V-SMA) is to be registered in Singapore, therefore it shall be issued with a Certificate of Airworthiness by the Singapore authority. To obtain this certificate, lots of documentation and test reports must be submitted to the Singapore Authority before the certificate will be issued.

We will see Singapore Airline first A350 to land in Singapore Changi Airport on 3rd March 2016 according to Singapore Airlines press release.

Other 9v-SMA's news

Singapore Airlines First A350-900 (9V-SMA) Completed Test Flight

Singapore Airlines First A350-900 (9V-SMA) rolled out of paintshop

Singapore Airlines A350-900 (9V-SMA) had arrived home.


Singapore Airlines First A350 (9V-SMA) First Flight and Why is this a Significant Event?

We can classify the first flight of an aircraft as the day on which the aircraft takes to the skies under its own power. This is also the ‘birthday’ of the aircraft, the day its age is calculated from.

Singapore Airlines A350 (9V-SMA) taxiing Image by Clément Alloing

Purchasing an aircraft is a rather lengthy and costly affair for the airlines involved. Countless millions of dollars and years are involved before the passenger actually flies on it. For a new aircraft type like the Airbus A350XWB, Singapore Airlines signed its first order for 20 of the aircraft in June 2007. February 2016 marks nearly the 9th year since its order was made and its first aircraft took to the skies.

9V-SMA Image by Clément Alloing

For the airline, it is an exciting time as the new aircraft type would allow it to introduce new routes and cabin configurations. This aircraft also promises lower fuel and maintenance costs. Having the new aircraft would also allow the airline to retire older and less efficient aircraft and to revitalize existing routes with the new product.

For the airline customer, this is the chance to be the first few passengers on the new aircraft. It is not unlike driving a new car with the ‘new car smell’. It is a total new experiences on this brand new aircraft type.

For spotters and aviation enthusiasts, it is a chance to check out the airline’s livery on the new aircraft as she soars into the skies for the first time. The picture of an aircraft on the ground and in the air always presents a different prospective. Aircraft on the ground tends to look clumsy and out of place. In the air, they appear sleek, elegant and right at home.

9V-SMA is MSN 0026 or the 26th Airbus A350XWB ever to roll off the production line in Toulouse, France.

Singapore Airlines was the first airline in the world to fly the Airbus A380-800 commercially when it received 9V-SKA MSN 003 in October 2007.

Article is written by CL, edited by Claire

Other 9v-SMA's news

Singapore Airlines First A350-900 (9V-SMA) Completed Test Flight

Singapore Airlines First A350-900 (9V-SMA) rolled out of paintshop

When will we see 9V-SMA in Singapore?


Commentary: Safety features that prevent accidental landing gear retracting

The ground incident where the Nose Landing Gear (NLG) of an Airbus A330-343, registration 9V-STG, operated by Singapore Airlines was reported to suffer from NLG collapsed at Changi Airport gate A17 yesterday. Press Release by Singapore Airlines on this incident is not available on their website at the time of this article, our information on this incident were obtained from online sources.

Quoted source - https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=180299

The nose gear of the aircraft retracted while the aircraft was at Gate A17 at Singapore-Changi International Airport undergoing a landing gear system check. At the time of the incident, there were no passengers or crew on board, but an engineer was on the aircraft.

This news may have brought about some public interest on the accidental operation of the landing gear while the plane is on the ground. Before anyone went on a wild goose chase to guess the possible failure(s) be it structure, human or procedure error, it will only be fair to all parties to wait for the official report from the MOT.

There are safeguards to prevent the landing gear from retracting by accident. One of the features is the “Ground Lock Pins” (See diagram) which are to be inserted into the aircraft landing gear when it is on the ground. This pin prevents the gear from retracting into the gear well while the aircraft is on the ground. 

NLG01


NLG Safety

Diagrams courtesy of Airbus

 

Under the usual standard operating procedure of most airport/airline, these pins are only to be removed when the aircraft is ready for push back. Therefore under normal circumstances, such incident should not have occurred even if the engineer is running the landing gear system check.

On top of the Ground Lock Pins, the aircraft should have sensors that would indicate that the aircraft is in Ground Mode. This should also prevent the landing gear from retracting under normal operational conditions.

All modern aircrafts have several layers of safeguards to prevent accidental operation. These features ensure the safety of passengers, crews and service personnel working on the aircraft. The incident, unfortunately had happened, we could only wait for the official incident report to be published and review all necessary changes to prevent future occurrence.