Airbus Military A400M successfully performs unpaved runway trials
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.