Mon, Nov 28, 2011
Fuselage Delivered To Seville, Tail Sections Yet To Arrive
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.
A400M Fuselage Delivery
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. The horizontal
tailplane (HTP) is expected next week and the vertical tailplane
(VTP) in two weeks time.
Airbus expects to deliver the first A400M to France in late 2012
or early 2013. Eight serial A400M aircraft are already at different
stages of production.
In September, a test aircraft designated Grizzly 1 successfully
performed the high-energy rejected take-off test which confirms the
capability of the braking system to stop the aircraft safely
following a rejected take-off at high speed and high weight.
Emergency evacuation tests were also carried out to demonstrate
that the aircraft can be safely evacuated in a specified time when
loaded with troops or other passengers in various
Delivery of A400M Wing Sections
The high-energy rejected take-off test is one of the toughest in
the program and, because of the risk of damage to the aircraft, is
among the last items performed before preparation of the aircraft
flight manual. It required the aircraft, loaded to the maximum
take-off weight, to make a simulated take-off run which was aborted
at the V1 decision speed.
As specified by the testing authorities the aircraft was then
taxied clear of the runway and stopped for five minutes before
firefighters were allowed to cool the brakes and wheels. As is
typical in this test, three of the aircraft´s tyres deflated.
There was no further damage and the test was highly
The emergency evacuation tests were performed over several days at
the A400M Final Assembly Line in Seville using the fifth
development aircraft which is mostly complete and due to fly before
the end of the year. All the tests required for certification were
passed. They were performed with, respectively, paratroopers,
conventional troops, in a medical evacuation configuration, and in
a mixed configuration of troops and cargo.
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