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LTP completes its first 12-year check on a Lufthansa Airlines A380

Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP) has completed its first-ever 12-year check on an Airbus A380 at its facilities in Manila.
photo_camera File photo of two Lufthansa A380s at LTP in Manila. Credit: Lufthansa Technik Philippines

Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP) has completed its first-ever 12-year check on an Airbus A380 at its facilities in Manila.

The extensive work package included the complete replacement of landing gear assemblies and structural inspections of the wings and engine mounts.

The work supports the return of this type of passenger aircraft to the fleet of Lufthansa Airlines.

Numerous airlines have now put the aircraft type back into service in order to cope with the increase in demand for air travel since the end of the pandemic.

In addition to Lufthansa Airlines, LTP currently counts four other A380 operators among its customer base.

Intensive inspections

Compared to the less extensive 3-year or 6-year checks that Lufthansa Airlines’ first four reactivated Airbus A380s also underwent at LTP, the scheduled 12-year check involves much more intensive inspections of the aircraft structure.

In order to provide adequate access, more than 500 passenger seats and all other monuments from the two passenger decks had to be removed and later reinstalled during the aircraft’s layover in Manila.

Various large aircraft components were also completely replaced or temporarily dismantled as part of the checks, with the LTP team also carrying out modifications, such as implementing all airworthiness directives (ADs) issued by the manufacturer Airbus during the long inactivity of the aircraft.

At peak times during the checks, more than 100 aircraft mechanics were working on the A380 – registered D-AIMC.

Despite its more than 42,000 flying hours and over 4,300 flight cycles, the aircraft is now almost ready for its return to active scheduled service with Lufthansa Airlines, but is also fit until its next, but significantly smaller, base maintenance check.

After successfully completing the works, the D-AIMC has now returned to Germany, and the next 12-year check on another A380 – registered D-AIMH – is already underway at LTP’s Manila facility.

Complete replacement of all landing gear assemblies

One of the milestones of every 12-year check is the complete replacement of the landing gear, which on the Airbus A380 consists of five individual gear assemblies with a total of 22 wheels.

After 12 years, these highly stressed components, which have to absorb a maximum take-off weight of up to 560 tonnes on a fully loaded A380, have reached the end of their scheduled service life.

To make sure that this not only marks the end of the components’ overall lifespan, the engineers at Lufthansa Technik Landing Gear Services (LTLGS) in London are overhauling the four main landing gear components to almost new condition, while the nose landing gear is overhauled by its manufacturer.

Engine removal

The A380’s four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines were also temporarily removed as part of the 12-year check to allow experts to carry out more detailed structural inspections of the wings and engine mounts.

The engines themselves underwent minor inspections in line with their remaining service life.

Full house in Manila

Despite the opening of a third overhaul line for the aircraft type in 2023, the company says its capacities will be almost fully utilised well into the coming years.

Elmar Lutter, chief executive of LTP, said: “The return of the A380 to the fleets of many airlines has also boosted demand for maintenance services enormously.

“We are benefiting quite well from this with our A380 expertise here in Manila, that we recently even expanded with the third overhaul line.

“In view of the delays in the delivery of numerous new widebody aircraft, I am certain that services for the A380 will remain an integral part of our portfolio for years to come.”

READ MORE NEWS: LTP receives Cebu Pacific’s first A330neo for base maintenance


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