Europe’s A400M cargo transport aircraft will perform only limited flying display at Farnborough.
Airbus will apparently not be flying Europe’s flagship army cargo plane, the A400 at today’s Farnborough Airshow because of concern over recurring engine problems.The construction of the A400M is Europe’s most important defense project and is capable of transporting 37 tons of payload over 8700 kilometers.
Due to this same problem with the gearbox part of the engines the A400M did not fly demonstrations at the 2011 Paris Air Show. It was shown only on static display instead.
It seems kind of prudent to take this precaution if you look at the type of things like a ‘Wingover’ can do to an aircraft. See Airbus A400M Wingover First Display ILA Berlin 2010 -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgALWWBg3qs
A small problem that occurred during heavy rain or ‘wet landing tests’ led to reconstruction of parts of the main landing gear door and this problem has now been resolved.
The A400M was recently in Cottbus-Drewitz in Germany for dirt and grass runway testing.http://www.airliners.de/technik/forschungundentwicklung/a400m-tests-in-brandenburg-beendet/27192
Presently there are a total of 174 aircraft orders from eight nations, however this will increase as aging C130 Hercules aircraft in many of the worlds airforces will have to be renewed over the next decade.
The A400M was built to operate in many different configurations- cargo transport, troop transport, Medical evacuation, aerial refuelling, and electronic surveillance. The ATLAS is intended to be used on short, soft landing strips and at the same time for high-altitude long-range, cargo transport flights.
The A400M is an extra-ordinary aircraft with great overall potential – a veritable ‘do-it’all’ type of plane. It can lift up to 37 tons and it can fly 8,700 km without having to refuel, and then can land on rough, gravel landing strips and then take off again.
The A400M cost €20 billion Euro and was built primarily for 7 European countries – Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and South Africa.
The aircraft has been dubbed the ‘Grizzly’ by some at Airbus, but the RAF, a prime user and English speaking airforce has rightfully rejected this incongruous name and came up with something a lot better – ATLAS – which we hope Airbus also later adopts.
Previous articles on this blog about this aircraft -
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