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A400M closes on first flight

written by australianaviation.com.au | November 13, 2009

Entrega FTC  004Airbus Military handed over the first A400M transport to its flight test organisation on November 12 in preparation for the aircraft’s planned first flight by the end of the year.

The aircraft will undergo a series of ground tests including engine run-ups and various other systems and telemetry tests as the flight test team build confidence in it prior to the flight. After this high speed taxi tests and a rejected takeoff will be conducted and the aircraft checked, and then first flight conducted.

The A400M is currently running about three years behind schedule due to engine development issues and an underestimation of the engineering resources required to develop the aircraft. So far, only one customer, South Africa, has cancelled its order (for eight), although the European partner nations in the project are yet to agree on a new finance deal and delivery schedule with Airbus Military.

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