Sunday, July 11, 2010
Third Airbus Military A400M Makes Its First Flight
09 July 2010 -- MSN 3 joins its sister-ships MSN 1 and MSN 2 which were also in the air during this test flight, meaning that 3 A400M were flying at the same time. During the day this fleet also passed the milestone of 100 test flights and 400 flight hours.
The third development aircraft of the new A400M airlifter made its maiden flight today, taking off at 13h 57 local time (GMT +2) from Seville.
Experimental Test Pilot Tony Flynn captained the flight, supported by Experimental Test Pilot François Barre. The crew also included Flight Test Engineers Laurent Lapierre and José Angel Corugedo, and Test Flight Engineer Gérard Maisonneuve.
MSN 3 joins its sister-ships MSN 1 and MSN 2 which were also in the air during this test flight, meaning that 3 A400M were flying at the same time. During the day this fleet also passed the milestone of 100 test flights and 400 flight hours.
Airbus head of flight operations Fernando Alonso said: “The addition of MSN3 to the fleet is great news and will let us push ahead even more rapidly with the flying programme.”
MSN3 is the third of an eventual five aircraft which will conduct the 3,700 hour flight-test programme leading to first delivery. It is the first aircraft to carry a medium flight-test instrumentation load, rather than the heavy fit of the first two, and will be primarily dedicated to auto-flight development, aircraft systems development, and route-proving.
The A400M is an all-new military airlifter designed to meet the needs of the world’s Armed Forces in the 21st Century. Thanks to its most advanced technologies, it is able to fly higher, faster and further, while retaining high manoeuvrability, low speed, and short, soft and rough airfield capabilities.
It combines both tactical and strategic/logistic missions. With its cargo hold specifically designed to carry the outsize equipment needed today for both military and humanitarian disaster relief missions, it can bring this material quickly and directly to where it is most needed. Conceived to be highly reliable, dependable, and with a great survivability, the multipurpose A400M can do more with less, implying smaller fleets and less investment from the operator. The A400M is the most cost efficient and versatile airlifter ever conceived and absolutely unique in its capabilities.
Airbus Military is the only military and civic transport aircraft manufacturer to develop, produce, sell and support a comprehensive family of airlifters ranging from three to 45 tonnes of payload. Within Airbus, Airbus Military is responsible for the A400M programme, as well as the Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) A330 and for further military derivatives based on Airbus civil aircraft. Together with the smaller C-295, CN-235 and C-212, Airbus Military is the global leader in the market segments for light and medium-sized military transport aircraft. Altogether Airbus Military has sold more than 1,000 aircraft with over 650 flying with more than 100 operators worldwide.