Based on the current flight test schedule and planning for the coming days, Airbus Military has decided to bring the first production representative example of the A400M - the MSN6 - to the Farnborough Air show. The aircraft will be on static display, allowing a maximum number of current and potential customers and other visitors to view the production standard cargo-hold and appreciate the real dimensions of the aircraft without flight-test instrumentation for the first time. The decision to have the aircraft on static display only is based on engine issues that happened last week which need further investigation.
A400M flight testing continues at an aggressive pace with successful achievements in the field of military capabilities. It is beginning to show the level of technical maturity required at first delivery, and we are pleased with the overall performance of the aircraft. Despite some engine maturity challenges, we are confident that we will find the right solutions and provide our customers with an aircraft that fully meets or exceeds the expectations.
At the end of June, the A400M had completed 1180 flights and 3535 flight hours in flight-test since its first flight in December 2009. In recent months, flight test progress has been good with successful tests in the areas of air-to-air refueling as a receiver and a tanker, loading of helicopters on board and the first testing of the defensive aid systems. The industrial status is on track with the first three customer aircraft now in the final assembly process in Seville and a further six aircraft in various stages of production with long-lead items launched up to MSN19. Equally the In-Service Support (ISS) activities are progressing on track, with ongoing discussions with our customers on the specific ISS packages in addition to the commonly agreed launch service package.
Source: Airbus, an EADS N.V. company (Paris: EAD.PA)
Date: Jul 5, 2012