A400M completes 300 hour F&R flight test program
Airbus Military has successfully completed the 300 hours of Function & Reliability flight-testing of the A400M airlifter which is a key requirement prior to full certification.
After fitting new engines to the first production-representative aircraft (MSN6/”Grizzly 5”) the F&R testing was completed in just 32 days, during which the aircraft made 52 flights and visited 10 different airfields.
Airbus Military Head of Flight and Integration Tests Fernando Alonso said: “During this F&R campaign the A400M has flown an average of two flights and 15 flight hours per day over a 26 day timeframe with only 6 days devoted to routine maintenance activities. The crews have been greatly impressed with the performance of the on-board systems and engines, and we are confident that we have a sound basis for completing the civil and military certification in the next couple of months.”
The exercise is intended to examine the aircraft´s behavior in conditions representative of normal in-service experience, including both routine and simulated abnormal operations in a wide range of weather and locations.
Data from the F&R programme is now being examined by the civil and military certification authorities for the A400M – respectively EASA and a committee appointed by OCCAR.
Having received the restricted Type Certification begin May this year, this phase of the flight test programme was the last major requirement prior to full Type Certification. It is expected that the aircraft will receive the full civil Type Certificate and military Initial Operating Capability in the first quarter of next year subject to the approval of the relevant authorities.
First delivery to the French Air Force, of MSN7, is planned for the second quarter, and a total of four aircraft will be delivered during the year in line with the latest revised schedule.