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Airbus Military A400M successfully performs unpaved runway trials

Posted 4 September 2013 · 1 Comment

Airbus Military has completed an important set of trials of the A400M new generation airlifter, demonstrating the aircraft's excellent performance on gravel runways.

In tests lasting more than a week at Ablitas in northern Spain, development aircraft MSN2 performed 25 landings during six flights on the same runway.

The trials confirmed that despite the harsh conditions, damage to the aircraft exterior from stones and dust was minimal and within expectations, and the runway remained usable after repeated operations. 

Demonstrations included ground manoeuvring, rejected take-offs, and use of propeller reverse thrust at speeds as low as 70kt (130 km/h) – none of which caused engine or cockpit contamination.


1 Comment for Airbus Military A400M successfully performs unpaved runway trials

Derek Empson

posted 3 years ago

The success of these unpaved runway trials provide further proof that the European aerospace industry, its designers and technological innovators can produce first class modern military aircraft as well as civilian air liners. The A400M Atlas in military service will be able rapidly to transport and deliver personnel, supplies and heavier and more bulky cargo safely and repeatedly over greater distances onto CBR-4 and CBR-6 semi-prepared airstrips than any other military transport aircraft. This has been intention ever since 1982 when preliminary design optimization studies began on this project. There can be little doubt that the A400M will prove to be the most cost effective and efficient military airlifter of this age. The fact that it has taken thirty years from concept to delivery is mainly the result of 'political' prevarication - delays caused by technical development 'glitches' have accounted for no more that five years and have centered mainly to the development of the totally new and most powerful Western European turboprop powerplant and gearbox, and some software challenges resulting for the high specification demanded of this aircraft. The A400M Atlas is a credit to all who have persisted doggedly through 'thick and thin' to bring to fruition what will prove to be a world-beating military transport aircraft that can additionally make an enormous contribution to saving lives in future global disasters, man-made and natural. .

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