Mach 2 Management (M2M), an event/marketing company, has announced a strategic alliance with the Veterans Airlift Command (VAC). The VAC provides free transportation to wounded veterans and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes via a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. M2M will help VAC to identify and confirm sustainable corporate sponsorship.
Airlift manufacturers were prominent at last month’s African Aerospace and Defence show in Cape Town, highlighting the need of the South African Air Force (SAAF) to renew its air transport fleet.
Robust and versatile, the series of small-medium tactical transports designed by CASA in Spain are still enjoying steady sales after more than 40 years. Now owned by EADS and marketed by Airbus Military, the C-212, CN-235 and C-295 have logged 817 sales to 127 operators in 58 countries. “These aircraft are little jewels. They are our bread-and-butter, and deserve more headlines,” said Airbus Military CEO Domingo Urena.
So the A400M is now named the Grizzly. Or is it? Upon closer investigation, yesterday’s christening ceremony may not have conferred a definitive moniker on Europe’s new airlifter. Airbus Military spokeswoman Barbara Kracht told AIN that the bearish name applies only to the flight test aircraft. For the moment. “Maybe it will become official, eventually,” she said.
Talks to amend the Airbus A400M development and production contract will drag on into the autumn as the moratorium on funding imposed by the European partner nations continues.
Germany is negotiating to reduce the number of A400M airlifters that it will receive from Airbus Military. Like the UK, it wants to take a cut in fleet size as its contribution to the €2 billion of additional A400M funding that was agreed in principle by the seven European customer nations last March.
EADS will receive an extra €2 billion to continue the A400M program, as well as a loan of €1.5 billion to be repaid as a levy on future exports of the airlifter. An ”understanding” with the eight European partner nations also includes forgiveness of all late delivery penalties to date, and an acceleration of pre-delivery payments.
Airbus chief executive officer Tom Enders refused all comment on the A400M airlifter here yesterday as talks to continue the troubled project reached a critical stage in Europe. Defense procurement ministers from the eight European customer nations are to meet again today for the third time in as many weeks to discuss their negotiating position.
Before the long-delayed first flight of the A400M, the new airlifter’s TP400 turboprop was flown 18 times on a C-130 flight test bed (FTB) modified and flown by Marshall Aerospace. This was a challenging task, since the TP400 produces 2.5 times the thrust of a C-130’s standard T56 engine and weighs twice as much.
A deal to rescue the troubled Airbus A400M airlifter has been put together. Defense ministers from the European partner nations will meet on Wednesday to approve a reduction in their orders, originally set at 180 aircraft. No more money will be made available to EADS-Airbus, beyond the €20 billion that was agreed to in 2003 to cover the development and production.