Although it will take some time before it is finally known why the Boeing 777 engine exploded on a flight from Denver to Honolulu, aviation accident investigators at the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have already come to the first conclusions. These suggest that the deterioration of the material is to blame for an accident that could have ended much more tragically.
Due to the wear of the material, one of the blades of the engine propeller broke off and hit the other, which also broke, the head of the NTSB Robert Sumwalt messages at Monday’s press conference. Both blades will be sent for further analysis to the laboratories of aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney. “Our goal is to find out what happened to prevent this from happening again in the future, ”Sumwalt said.
The blade broke off soon after takeoff and the plane was able to return safely to the airport. As one of the passengers found, they would be in much greater trouble if this happened over the ocean to which they were destined. Luckily in the accident, however, there were no injuries in the neighborhood where parts of the outer protective sheath fell.
The blades of the compression fans in the engine also rotate at 20,000 rpm during the flight, so the centripetal forces are huge and the blades are therefore mostly made of titanium. But in the past, they have already given way and are flying at a considerable speed perpendicular to the torque. They also damaged the fuselage and passengers, so it was precisely because of such incidents that they began to build engines in such a way as to delay such a failure of the blades.
After the event, Boeing 777s with the same Pratt & Whitney engines landed around the world.
A similar incident occurred in the Netherlands on the same day. The engine of a truck Boeing 747 from the same manufacturer failed, and parts of the wreckage in Meerssen slightly injured two people, including a child. This plane, too, then landed safely at a nearby airport.
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