Singapore Airlines has flown its second Airbus A380 aircraft out of the Australian desert storage facility in Alice Springs Airport, following a well rehearsed routine by flying for maintenance checks at the Qantas hangar in Sydney on 29th July 2021.
The aircraft then departed on its second leg bound for Singapore, arriving home at around 6pm this evening (30th July 2021), the first time it has been seen back at Changi since leaving for storage in Australia over 15 months ago, on 26th April 2020.
Another A380, 9V-SKQ, was returned to Singapore via maintenance in Sydney back in February 2021, though that aircraft is now undergoing cabin refit work with the latest 2017 on-board products, which will be fitted to all 12 of the operator’s future proposed superjumbo fleet.
Why fly via Sydney?
Before an Airbus A380 operates revenue flights again following a long period of storage, correct operation of the landing gear must be verified.
This is usually done in the hangar, with the aircraft mounted on jacks, literally lifted off the floor, then engineers check that the gear still retracts and extends correctly (known as a ‘gear swing’).
Here’s how the process looks on an Airbus A330.
This cannot be done at Alice Springs and unfortunately the Airbus A380 does not have sufficient range to fly all the way to Singapore with its gear down, so SIA flies it to the only A380-capable facility in Australia – Qantas Hangar 96 at Sydney Airport – to have the checks done there.