Qantas Airways Ltd. grounded its Airbus A380 jets and other carriers that fly the superjumbo plane made safety checks after an engine on one of the Australian airlines' A380s blew apart in flight.

澳洲航空公司(Qantas Airways Ltd.)一架空中客车A380客机的一个引擎在飞行中发生爆炸后,该公司已停飞其空客A380客机,其他使用该超大型飞机的航空公司也在做安全检查。

The incident Thursday tore off a large portion of the engine's rear covering while spewing flames and metal debris. It occurred shortly after Qantas Flight 32 took off from Singapore for Sydney with 466 people aboard.


The roughly two-year-old double-decker plane, whose three other engines continued to work properly, dumped fuel for more than an hour as a precaution and then made an emergencylanding back in Singapore. Photos indicated damage to one of its wings and perhaps its fuselage.


The dramatic nature of the engine failure and the high profile of the world's largest passenger jetliner, which entered service in 2007 after major production problems, sparked intense media and industry interest. It is too early to tell what happened to the Trent 900 engine made by Rolls-Royce PLC of Britain. Other operators of A380s with the engine were conducting special inspections prior to resuming service.

引擎故障及全球最大喷气客机的头衔吸引了媒体和业界的密切关注。A380客机在出现重大生产问题后,于2007年投入商业运营。目前说飞机所用的Trent 900引擎有什么问题还为时尚早,该引擎由英国劳斯莱斯公司(Rolls-Royce PLC)生产。其他航空公司使用这一引擎的A380客机正在接受特别检查,之后才会恢复飞行。

Given the A380's immense size, engineering complexity and roughly $300 million price tag, some safety experts said the engine blowout raises broader questions about whether the latest generation of jetliners from Airbus and Boeing Co. will hew to the industry's pattern of providing significantly safer, more reliabletransportation than the models they replace.

鉴于A380体积庞大,工程复杂,而且价格在3亿美元左右,一些安全专家说,此次引擎爆炸使更多的人质疑,空中客车公司(Airbus)和波音公司(Boeing Co.)最新推出的这类宽体客机能否延续以往传统,即新机型会比其取代的老机型更安全和可靠。

Such questions are particularly important for Rolls-Royce, which in the last few years has been buffeted by a series of design and reliability issues affecting engines it supplies for other jetliner types.


According to some safety experts, Qantas moved to suspend A380 flights immediately -- before investigators had time to provide even the most preliminary conclusions -- partly because the airline's own maintenance and operational safeguards have run into criticism from Australian regulators and others.


Engine failures that cause high-speed rotating parts to puncture or sever engine coverings aren't supposed to happen on modern jetliners.


A 发言人">spokesman for Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., said the company will 'work closely' with Qantas and Australian government investigators to determine the cause. A Rolls-Royce 发言人">spokesman said it is cooperating with the probe while relying on 'well-established processes to collect and understand information relating to the event.'

欧洲航空防务航天公司(European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co.)旗下空中客车公司的发言人说,公司将与澳洲航空和澳大利亚政府的调查人员紧密合作,以确定事故起因。劳斯莱斯的发言人说,正在协助调查,并依赖完善的事故处理程序来收集和了解与此次事故相关的信息。

Without elaborating, Rolls-Royce said it has urged airlines to perform 'basic precautionary engine checks' on A380s. Rolls-Royce maintains the engines for Qantas but declined to comment on their maintenance history.


Andy Pasztor / Daniel Michaels