A400M flies for third time
The Airbus Military A400M airlifter has flown for the third time as the flight-test programme for the type picks up pace after the year-end break.
In a two hour 25 minute sortie from Seville, Spain on 7th January the test crew concentrated on exploring flight in different aircraft configurations. The aircraft, known as MSN1, has now completed nearly ten hours of total flying time.
Test pilot Michel Gagneux became the third pilot to fly the aircraft, supporting aircraft captain Nacho Lombo. Airbus head of flight operations Fernando Alonso also flew on the aircraft for the first time, acting as flight test engineer. Mr Alonso said: “It was a very satisfying moment to take part in this successful third flight. We made considerable progress in further exploring the aircraft’s behaviour in different configurations and were pleased with what we saw. The flight programme is progressing well and in the days ahead, now that the operational flight envelope has been cleared, we will be flying regularly further evaluating the aircraft's handling characteristics and doing initial systems evaluations.”