Airbus Military says it hopes to resume, in November, the remaining 140 hours of function and reliability flight-testing that is required before its A400M airlifter can be granted a full type certificate. The flights with MSN6, the first production-representative aircraft, were suspended in July because of the repeated detection of metallic chips in the oil system of one of the TP400 engines.
The problems with the A400M’s TP400-D6 turboprop engine that caused the airlifter to be scratched from this week’s Farnborough International flight demonstrations will slow civil certification and first delivery of the aircraft, but are not expected to delay its entry into service with the French air force next year. Production aircraft do not have the same issues.
Europe’s A400M airlifter was named Atlas, after the Greek god who carried the world on his shoulders, last Friday in a rain-soaked ceremony at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), RAF Fairford. The aircraft, which is the first production representative aircraft (MSN6), repositioned from Fairford to the Farnborough static park yesterday.
The Airbus Military A400M is spreading its wings, as the once-troubled program makes progress toward first delivery early next year. The airlifter went to South America last month and Southeast Asia this week, for viewing by potential customers. The company said last November that it hopes to sell about 300 A400Ms over the next 20 years, and that the first production slots for new customers are available in 2016-17.
Although it gained EASA certification in May, the Europrop International (EPI) TP400-D6 engine that powers the Airbus Military A400M airlifter subsequently encounter
The last-minute problem with the gearbox of the TP400D-6 turboprop engine, which led to the decision to cancel the spectacular Airbus A400M flying display at the Paris Air Show, has still not been resolved, Europrop International (EPI) said.
The malfunction occurred on Thursday last week on an A400M flight-test aircraft, though not the one that flew into Le Bourget to be on display.
In recent weeks, important contractual issues surrounding the A400M airlifter have been resolved. First, Airbus Military signed a formal agreement to amend the development and production contract with the seven European launch nations, represented by the OCCAR procurement agency.
Aeromaritime, a Rolls-Royce authorized maintenance, repair and overhaul center, is sharing space in Booth No. 320 with parent company Industria de Turbo Propulsores (ITP), which acquired the Aeromaritime group in 2008. ITP plans to extend its repair and overhaul business in the U.S. Aeromaritime, with facilities in the U.S.
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.
The first Airbus Military A400M military airlifter (MSN 1) made its first flight today, taking off at 10:15 a.m. local time (0915 UTC) from Seville, Spain, for a three-hour, 47-minute flight, according to EADS. The six-person crew, led by Edward Strongman, Airbus chief test pilot, military, said the aircraft and its four Europrop International TP400D turboprop engines performed as expected.
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