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Around 30% of the A400M airframe consists of carbon fibre, including the wing main spar. This is a “first” for a large transport aircraft and particular attention will be paid to the performance of the materials used.
Finally, the tests will continue to the point of rupture of certain structural elements thus providing data on the design margins.
Engine-related development and integration issues continue to dog Airbus Military's efforts to prepare the A400M for its maiden flight, but the manufacturer remains optimistic it can get the transport airborne "this summer".
"This is a unique aircraft - one of a kind between the C-130J and C-17. Why should we not target the US?" says EADS military transport aircraft division head Carlos Suarez. He cautions, however, that "it's too early for any possible detailed discussions".
All four TP400-D6 engines have now been installed on the wing of A400M MSN 001. The work was completed at the end of week 20 at “Station 35” of the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Seville, where the first A400M is being readied for its roll out in front of an international public towards the end of June this year.
Engine installation is followed by the mounting of the four huge, eight-bladed Ratier Figeac propellers, which, together with the 11,000 shaft horsepower of each engine, make up the power plant combination that will provide the driving force of the A400M
Performed at Marshall's Cambridge airport site on 10 June, the milestone comes just days before EADS plans to host a 26 June roll-out ceremony for the first production A400M at its Seville final assembly facility in southern Spain.....
More than 30h of ground tests are required before the testbed will be able to make its delayed first flight, the company adds.
EADS has previously said that the FTB must log 50 flight test hours before the A400M can fly, and the current pace of progress raises fresh questions as to whether it will be able to meet its revised target of achieving the debut this "summer".
Originally posted by Canada_EH
*On a side note if you enjoy the news supplied by this thread and info and conversations as well please be sure to flag so this thread won't be lost and the value of keeping a thread of development known to the ATS staff - Thanks*
Describing the A400M's development programme as a "formidable challenge" and "a long and less than easy journey," Airbus Military chief executive Carlos Suarez said: "The race is not yet finished. Only when our customers are happy with our product and our shareholders are satisfied with this business can we say that the work is done.."
Patrick Bellouard, director of Europe's OCCAR procurement agency, said: "We still have some challenges ahead to complete the certification and to ensure that the full military capability will be delivered. We will continue to work intensively to satisfy the needs of the military user."
Originally posted by Canada_EH
Airbus executive vice-president programmes Tom Williams says there have been "a couple of failures" of the Europrop International TP400-D6 engine during ground testing, including engine No 5 during water ingestion trials and engine No 6, which suffered a "gearbox problem"....
Speaking on the sidelines of the Emirates Airbus A380 delivery in Hamburg, Williams said that achieving the A400M's first-flight target of the end of October will be "tight" and depends on the results of the strip-down and inspection of these two engines, as well as the development of the engine's full-authority digital engine control software. "This is not available until the end of October - we've got an interim release and a lot will depend on how good that is," he says.
Airbus does not expect the first flight of the A400M transport before the second half of 2009, says executive vice-president programmes Tom Williams.
At an event at the Airbus UK plant in Filton on 24 November, Williams said the A400M programme's engine supplier, Europrop International, had missed "several dates" for delivery of a plan for completion of the TP400-D6 turboprop engine's full-authority engine control software,