The first A400M (MSN1) has left the Final Assembly Line (FAL) on 2nd September, to be moved to the next ground test station which now is outdoors. This follows satisfactory completion of all indoor ground testing on station 35.
Those included verification and checks of all the systems and of the modifications and improvements that were embodied into MSN1 over the past months to make it a more mature aircraft at First Flight.
Trials to be performed on the first outdoor station (station 30) include fuel tests, pressurisation tests, as well as navigation and communication checks, and will last approximately two weeks. Subsequently, the aircraft will receive its engines and the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). Actually, all four engines have already been assembled, and are fitted with their propellers, awaiting installation of the final FADEC engine software. They are to be mounted onto the aircraft in CW 38.
Pending installation of the engines, the aircraft is fitted with dummy engines to simulate the weight in the wings and to allow for proper fuel calibration tests (on station 30).
First Flight of the A400M is to take place around the turn of the year.
The A400M is an all new military airlifter designed to meet the needs of the world’s Armed Forces in the 21s Century. Thanks to its most advanced technologies, it is able to fly higher, faster and further, while retaining high maneuverability, low speed, and short, soft and rough airfield capabilities. It combines both tactical and strategic/logistic missions. With its cargo hold specifically designed to carry the outsize equipment needed today for both military and humanitarian disaster relief missions, it can bring this material quickly and directly to where it is most needed. Conceived to be highly reliable, dependable, and with a great survivability, the multipurpose A400M can do more with less, implying smaller fleets and less investment from the operator. The A400M is the most cost efficient and versatile airlifter ever conceived and absolutely unique in its capabilities.