The fourth Airbus Military A400M development aircraft made its first flight on December 20, taking off from Seville, Spain, for a five hour 10 minute mission.
The aircraft, dubbed Grizzly 4, the fourth of a planned five strong A400M test fleet, took off at a weight of 130 tonnes at 10.18am local time. It will be primarily dedicated to cargo and air-to-air refuelling operations.
“The on-time first flight of Grizzly 4 highlights what has been an excellent first year of the flight-test program,” said head of flight operations Fernando Alonso. “We end 2010 fully on schedule and with every expectation of rapidly building flight-hours and hitting our key test objectives in the year ahead.”
The first A400M made the type’s first flight on December 11 2009. Since then the test fleet has completed just over 1000 flight hours on 300 flights.