As a result, all A400Ms are now cleared for flight provided they have undergone the checks specified by the manufacturer in the Alert Operator Transmission (AOT) of 19 May 2015. Airbus Defence and Space´s own three development aircraft, and the 12 aircraft delivered to customers prior to the accident were not affected by the restrictions.
The production plan for the year is under review following the accident but currently is still targeting at least 13 aircraft in 2015, plus up to four more subject to flight-test results due this summer.
Two aircraft which were due for delivery at the time of the accident are expected to be delivered in a matter of days with a number of others to follow in the coming weeks.
Head of Military Aircraft Fernando Alonso said: “We appreciate the Spanish authorities’ timely action in restoring our permission to fly without restriction as well as our customers’ patience and support in recent weeks. We are working hard to bring the schedule back on track while continuing to support the investigation.”
The A400M is the most versatile airlifter currently available responding to the most varied needs of world Air Forces and other organisations in the 21st century. It can perform three very different types of duties: it is able to perform both tactical missions directly to the point of need and long range strategic/logistic ones.
The A400M can also serve as an air-to-air refueling “tanker”. Powered by four unique counter-rotating Europrop International (EPI) TP400 turboprop powerplants, the A400M offers a wide flight envelope in terms of both speed and altitude. It is the ideal airlifter to fulfill the most varied requirements of any nation around the globe in terms of military, humanitarian and any other “civic” mission for the benefit of society.
The A400M was launched in 2003 to respond to the combined needs of seven European Nations regrouped within OCCAR (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Spain, Turkey and the UK), with Malaysia joining in 2005. This is one of the major reasons for its extreme versatility. Its maiden flight took place on 11th December 2009.