Airbus A 400

Armand2REP

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4th A400M Takes Off
By PIERRE TRAN
Published: 20 Dec 2010 13:06


PARIS - The fourth development A400M aircraft, dubbed Grizzly 4, made its maiden flight Dec. 20, taking off from Seville, Spain, and marking a milestone in the program to field the new military airlifter, Airbus Military said.

EADS, the parent company of Airbus Military, is expected to sign by the end of December the 3.5 billion euro ($4.6 billion) agreement needed to fund the cost overrun of the A400M transport aircraft program. The deal was reached in March with the customer countries, but detailed negotiations needed to be completed to draw up the documents setting out the accord.

The program to build the A400M military transport plane includes five development aircraft, which will be flown in the test campaign which consists of 3,700 flight hours, the company said in a statement.

The Grizzly 4 plane, weighing 130 tons, took off from Seville at 10:18 a.m. local time and landed five hours and 10 minutes later, the company said. The plane, which was equipped with flight test instruments, will be mainly used to test the handling of freight and in-flight refueling.

Among the crew was test flight engineer Catherine Schneider, the first woman engineer to fly in an inaugural flight of the A400M, Airbus Military said.

The development aircraft have combined to fly for more than 1,000 hours in slightly less than 300 sorties in 2010. The first A400M is due to be delivered in about two years' time, the company said.

The A400M, budgeted at 20 billion euros, is Europe's biggest cooperative defense effort and is running around three years late.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=5278845&c=EUR&s=AIR
 

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VIDEO: Airbus A400M First International Air Show Debut

Please don't mind the camera shake as my tri-pod was left behind in media centre, here is A400M making it's first international Air show debut at Farnborough Air show 2010...
 
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Armand2REP

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It never ceases to amase me how quiet that large plane is.
 

Blackwater

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I don't know y don't we go for it. we should not order all of Hercules but mix of Hercules and A-400. You never know when US slams you with embargo.
 

Armand2REP

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I don't know y don't we go for it. we should not order all of Hercules but mix of Hercules and A-400. You never know when US slams you with embargo.
If you have A400M, you do not need C-130. It is vastly superior. Europe uses it to fill voids of both C-130 and C-17. Wouldn't mind having a few GlobeMasters myself but they are damned expensive.
 

illuminati

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In any which way A400M should not be considered in comparison with C-130J because one A400M= 2 C-130Js, here are few roles wherein A400M fits in very well:

AS A TANKER- The A400M is not only a perfect airlifter and troop transporter. It canalso very easily be converted into an aerial refuelling Tanker. It has been conceived from the outset for this dual role and means an enhanced utilization of the aircraft, especially in the theatre of operations. Because all provisions are built into the airframe, it takes under two hours to convert the A400M from an airlifter into a two-point tanker aircraft. With hard points, fuel lines and electric connections already built into the wings. The two refuelling pods under the wing can provide a fuel flow of up to 1,200 kg / 2,645lb per minute. The refuelling can also be done through a centre-line fuselage refuelling unit which provides a fuel flow of some 1,800 kg /3,968 lb per minute. Three video cameras can also be installed, to monitor the refuelling from the wing pods and the centre-line unit. The A400M carries up to 64,000 litres /14,078gallons of fuel in its wings and centre wing box.

Two additional cargo hold units can also be installed, providing an additional 7,200 litres /1,583 gallons of fuel each. The fuel carried in the extra tanks can be of a different nature to the fuel in the main tanks. This enables the A400M to cater for the needs of different types of receiver aircraft. Also, because of its low fuel consumption, the A400M can do a four hour mission while off-loading some 35 tonnes /78,400 lb of fuel. Larger aircraft can also be refuelled by the A400M. The A400M is indeed the only Tanker which can refuel the entire range of military aircraft at their preferred speeds and altitudes. This is because it can fly both at the low speeds and altitudes (105 to 115 kt) typical to refuel helicopters, as well as at speeds of 280 to 300 kt and altitudes of around 25,000 ft which are typical for fast jets, such as fighters or large aircraft.

Finally, the A400M can also be refuelled itself. It is equipped with a nose probe mounted above the cockpit, through which the A400M can be refuelled. This increases the range of the A400M. The probe can easily be removed when it is not needed.

AS AN AIRLIFTER- The A400M is the perfect 21st century cargo carrier to fulfill the most varied requirements of any nations around the globe, both for military and "civic" missions for the good of society. It has the biggest range / cargo-carrying capability of any airlifter able to perform tactical missions, while also being able to fly long-range logistic sorties. The aircraft can carry up to 37 tonnes of cargo over a distance of 1,780 nm / 3,295 km or, when trading cargo for range, 30 tonnes over 2,450 nm / 4,500 km, or 20 tonnes of cargo a distance of 3,450 nm / 6,400 km, which is more than twice what in-service tactical airlifters can do with a similar load, or any combination in between. The A400M can also achieve this much faster because of its high speed performance up to Mach .72 cruise speed.

Even more importantly, with an inside fuselage width and height of four metres /157 inch, the A400M is the only tactical airlifter which can carry all sorts of large, outsize cargo currently used for both military and humanitarian missions. For military purposes, the A400M can carry an NH90 or a CH-470 Chinook helicopter, or two Stryker infantry carrier vehicles (ICV), for example. It can also carry a large semi-articulated truck with a 6.096 m /20 ft container, or a rescue boat, or large lifting devices, such as excavators or mobile cranes which are urgently needed after a natural disaster, in case of humanitarian assistance. Or it can carry a combination of these materials while offering up to 54 seats for troops, or search and rescue teams, medical support, engineers, and so on. Furthermore, thanks to its unique short landing characteristics, the A400M is the only airlifter that can fly these items directly to the site of the action, where these materials are urgently needed. With its twelve-wheel main landing gear designed for operations from stone, gravel or sand strips, an efficient absorption of shock-loads into the airframe structure, and minimized risk of foreign object damage, the A400M is able to land on, and take-off from, any short, soft and rough unprepared airstrip (as short as 750 metres / 2,500 ft). These characteristics allow it to ensure that swift humanitarian aid can arrive on the spot in the very short timeframe needed after a disaster.

The A400M can also easily be transformed into a "casualty evacuation" airlifter carrying up to 125 stretchers and seven medical support with, as an option, an intensive care unit. Once on the ground, the A400M is designed for very rapid and autonomous cargo unloading or loading without any specialized ground support equipment. Fitted with on board winches and crane, the cargo hold is optimised for single loadmaster operation from a computerised workstation, where the loadmaster can pre-plan loads from a load data base. So, by minimising the time on the ground, the A400M's systems also reduce the aircraft's vulnerability to hostile action.

CAN BE GOOD REPLACEMENT FOR IL-76 REFUELLERS, IL-76 CARGO but as C-17s are being considered by the IAF i still believe A400M would have been something we say LATEST TECHNOLOGY
 
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venkat

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it seems to me a cross between C-130 and IL-76(Tail portion)...so it costs twice as much as one c-130? since we operate lot of Airbus commercial jets...Airbus will maintain good after sales service and availability of spares with out any CISMOA strings attached... As the c-130 will be arriving anytime now,do we have a choice?
 

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Though it's too late but still as I mentioned 1 A400M= 2 C-130Js hence this in turn will result in having a small fleet size which could have been easy to maintain and of course could reduce the overall Life Cycle Cost
 

chex3009

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When will be A400M be fully developed and ready to be inducted???

Its a damn good cargo plane, could be potential buy for IAF in the future as India has got good long experience of operating Airbus civilian planes.
 

illuminati

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Looking at the current scenario of Cargo airplane orders placed by IAF I don't think so there is much left for Airbus Military, rather than pitching for a Cargo Aircraft Airbus Military would be more interested in pitching A330 MRTT to IAF.
 

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Germany To Take Only 40 A400Ms

FRANKFURT — Germany plans to further reduce the number of Airbus Military A400Ms its air force will operate. The Bundestag's budget committee is expected to follow a proposal made by the ruling coalition to use only 40 of the 53 A400Ms the country plans to order.

The issue is on the committee's Jan. 26 agenda. Juergen Koppelin, a high-ranking member of the liberal Free Democratic Party, says 13 aircraft will be returned to Airbus for export sales.

Germany is the last A400M launch customer to commit to the details of a compromise formed in early 2010. As part of the basic agreement, the country reduced its order to 53 from 60 aircraft. The deal includes a €2-billion ($2.7-billion) price hike for the first 180 aircraft and a €1.5-billion prepayment that Airbus Military is to return to the governments as export revenues come in, starting with the 185th aircraft.

In return, the A400M launch customers agreed not to cancel more than a total of 10 of the original 180 orders. A reduction of 20 aircraft would far exceed the agreed upon limits and threaten the compromise.

Thus, Germany will buy 53 aircraft but give 13 of them back to Airbus for remarketing.

That plan is almost certain to meet with resistance from the manufacturer and other A400M customers. Airbus would have to compete for export contracts with aircraft that were part of the launch order. While the company would still be required to start paying back the €1.5-billion facility to governments starting with the 185th aircraft delivery, that mark would be reached later if the 13 German transports were sold ahead of any new aircraft. Also, new industrial workshare issues could emerge based on the reduced German contingent of 40 aircraft.

Report: Aviation Week
 

Tshering22

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Europeans have some serious issues in managing cost overruns eh? Guess DRDO is not that bad considering that such experts in aviation industry of decades are facing problems :lol:.

Now getting to the point, looking at the A-400 project it seems first of all redundant to me. Attempting a cross-over between C-130 and C-17 especially when being in US circle of alliance was the most foolish thing from EADS. While it is appreciated that Europeans want to have a "EUROPEAN alternative" for everything US, it is not possible to compete with the Americans on something that they have been making for more than 3 decades.

For US, there is hardly any cost involved since the production of Hercules is been going on for the last 3 decades. All their costs were covered long back. Typhoon is the other example of European cost issues. They just charge too much for something that is slightly better off than US platforms. Call me loony but before that, take a look at the Typhoon. It is essentially a 4++ generation fighter with more maneuverability and doesn't even have AESA yet and still costs a BOMB. $ 120 million apiece without AESA while a pimped up F-16 Block 80 in comparison WITH AESA costs around $ 60-65 million and the nearest Gripen NG costs $ 41-60 million per unit.

Now tell me, under such a situation, how would anyone consider buying European jets or transports unless it is someone like Arab countries who have money to waste around in upgrading their showcases (since the Arabs that actually fight have more economical air force jets and transports like Egypt, Jordan and Syria)?

As if US was not enough challenger, now even Chinese are making cost effective platforms that are a threat to EADS stuff. Chinese are modeled along US lines where they have terrific manufacturing base to make goods cheap yet effective enough to "do the job". Take J-10s for example. If tomorrow they get a fine new AESA matching European capabilities and raise the price to even $ 60 million per jet, countries from Africa, Latin America, CAR, Eurasia will JUMP IN to buy the jet rather than $ 120 million+ Typhoon or would prefer getting the Y-20 large transport aircraft (C-17 category) which is around the price of A-400 by estimates.

Where will European market go then?
 

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[h=3]Airbus Military begins final assembly of the first A400M for France[/h]
Following the launch of A400M series production last February, Airbus Military has begun final assembly of the first A400M that will be delivered to a customer –the French Air Force.

The fuselage for this aircraft, known as MSN7, arrived at the final assembly line in Seville (Spain) on board an Airbus Beluga.

The wings and nose arrived some days earlier and the integration of the central box and outer wings has already begun.

Airbus Military begins final assembly of the first A400M for France
 

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Airbus A400 quenching Mirages



Artist's impression of an Airbus A400M refuelling two French Air Force Mirages.
the A-400M is a cross between the C-5 and the C-130 herc


I have personally seen A-400 plane at Paris Airshow this year. It's really huge. Yes, it's true, it's bigger than C-130 and its between C-17 and C-130... C- 5 is totally different beast
 

indian_sukhoi

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Opting for A400M rather An-70 would make more sense.

A400M program might take more delays, But will surely see induction in the coming days. Whereas, When to comes to An-70, It under waiting for possible orders from the Russian and Ukranian Airforces.

And they are planning to Co-Develop these planes, which brings more doubts whether they will deliever any future order in time without any political stand down between these countries.
 

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Airbus reports first A400M
airdrop trials as a success




[highlight]Airbus Defence & Space (D&S) has announced that an A400M development aircraft has undergone the first phase of airdrop trials over the Fonsorbes drop zone near Toulouse. The company reported that the testing has been successful, marking an important milestone in the aircraft's ongoing military flight test programme.[/highlight] The testing saw the A400M development aircraft drop a range of different loads by parachute during 11 flights over a two-week period. In total the aircraft dropped 26 platforms and containers weighing from 255kg to 4 tonnes using the ramp aerial-delivery system (RAS-wedge), and 11 bundles weighing from 15kg to 320kg using the paratrooper doors. The A400M programme remains on track. In February Airbus D&S announced that the first of 53 aircraft being built for the German Air Force had entered the final assembly line in Seville, Spain.


Airbus reports first A400M airdrop trials as a success - News - Shephard
 

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