Third A400M Aircraft Takes First Flight

On July 9, the third Airbus Military A400M development aircraft, MSN3, took its maiden flight from the Seville manufacturing site in Spain.

On the same day, Airbus Military clocked up its 100th test flight on the A400M, with the aircraft now having reached the 400-flight-hour mark. It was flown by Airbus’s test pilots Tony Flynn and François Barre. Five aircraft eventually will be involved in the flight test program, which is expected to total 3,700 hours.

The first aircraft to carry a medium flight-test instrumentation load instead of the heavy test fit, MSN3 will be used mainly for auto-flight, systems and route-proving developments. At the end of the year, the fourth A400M is planned to join the flight test program. In mid-2011, the fifth aircraft will join, too.

The A400M is a European long-range military transport aircraft designed as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities. The €136 million plane is powered by four Europrop TP400-D6 engines. It has a wingspan of 42.4m with eight propellers attached to the wings. It is 45.1m in length and 14.7m in height.


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