Airbus Ills Continue

An Airbus A380 on a world demonstration tour scraped its wing on an hangar door while exiting in Bangkok, Thailand. The tips of the wings, or winglets, had to be removed before the flight could continue which caused a three hour delay. Story here.

Officials said the accident at 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 left winglet of the plane had been damaged, but that engineers would remove the winglets ahead of the postponed flight.

“The device removed is useful but we can fly without it … I don’t think it will affect the operation of the aircraft at all,” said Terry Lutz, the plane’s captain and head test pilot for Airbus.

A winglet tips up and back from the end of a wing, improving aerodynamic efficiency.