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A400M News Update

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posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 06:13 PM
reply to post by FredT

I've not followed the airbus project, but my experience is that 80% of the time the delay would be engine or systems related. Computer models are so much more accurate now that airframes are (with minor variation) set in stone at this point in the process. If for some reason they find something in flight testing that doesn't fit, you will engineer it out -- but most of the time, it's a system or propulsion issue. Actually engines have been the hold up in most projects for the last forty or so years. You design an airframe around a proposed powerplant and then the powerplant doesn't live up to expectation or is late working the kinks out. Or gets scrapped mid project and teams scramble to find a workable replacement. Then the designers/firm gets blamed that the final product doesn't live up to early projections.
Of course, because I just threw all that out there, it will be a design snag with the airframe holding the project up.

posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 07:34 AM
reply to post by _Del_

No Del your more or less right when it comes to this project. The powerplant has been slow in its getting tested and manufactured etc. In fact I haven't seen that they have actually started the tests on the C-130 testbed yet so wonder what going on there.

It goes to show that Airbus hasn't been very vocal about this plane which is part of the reasons why it suffers so much in sales and there lack of with Canada etc is this plane seems like the unwanted child of sorts. Personally I think its the newest idea and freshest work that is coming out of Airbus since the 380.

posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 07:57 AM
Well on that note more A400 news is in order.

On the testing side 2 things are semi new. As of March 12 th this year the rigorous static test programme began on “Aircraft 5000”, the A400M static test specimen installed at the test facility in Getafe, near Madrid. As many as 125 jacks were used to simulate loads etc.

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.

Lets just hope that the parts don't rupture before there designed limits otherwise we will have the issue that Del described. But with no news as of now 5-6 weeks after testing started its likely that this testing is going well.

On the powerplant testing front we have news from the C-130 testing program. It sounds like one of the remaining obstacles on the road to the A400M first flight includes the need for at least 50 flight hours with a TP400 installed on a Lockheed Martin C-130K testbed (to be operated by the UK's Marshall Aerospace), and problems completing development of the eight-bladed engine's full-authority digital engine control.

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".

posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 08:03 AM
Also in the news today is the possible eyeing of EADS at the US military. The details and info are all really small and with a lack of detail but there is "solid" reasoning behind the thought. Maybe part of this could be due to the "success" of the A330 tanker deal claims Flight Global.

"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".

The main selling point in my opinion here is the fact that it is possible for anyone signing on to get there planes in the production line by 2012 which is quite early when one thinks about it. To late for Canada but who knows Aus/Can and the US may all look into a possible airframe or 2 depending if the C-17 line stays open or not the demand for the airframe could increase.

[edit on 25-4-2008 by Canada_EH]

posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 02:21 PM
More "good" news from the A400 site.

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

Look forward to the roll out and painting of the plane. From the looks of things and lack of news they are headed for their revised first flight time line. *holds breath* I must say it will be a nice looking piece of kit.

posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 08:07 AM
Well another step forward among more talk of further possibilities of delays. Performed just yesterday its another good step forward for the testing of the TP400-D6 engine which during the test seemed to preform well. The test was conducted on a Marshall Aerospace-owned Lockheed Martin C-130 flight testbed that will soon (hopefully) take to the air to further test the powerplant for the new A400M.

(just look at the difference in prop size)

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".

Well we can only hope that the testing moves forward at a fast pace but safety and being sure of the quality is better in my opinion.

*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*

posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 08:32 AM
from reading flight , it does seem alot of the delays are from teh engine side of developement.

good to see its moving onwards - and goes that is a big prop

posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 11:46 AM

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*

Done. And while I´m sorry that there isnt much to respond to, I enjoy your regular updates.

posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 08:01 AM

Well the day has finally come! Today June 26 08 Airbus rolled out the fully painted A400M to the public at EADS Casa's San Pablo site near Seville in southern Spain. This was roll out is earlier then thought after the talk of delays to the first flight till the end of the year the roll out had been thought for Sept. Its a good sign that they are still working in overdrive to get the plane up in the air as soon as possible.

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."

One thing is that with the amount of art work out there I thought they would paint the test plane in a olive drab green or something. We may be looking at an earlier flight then thought or they take this full time to do a very in-depth test program as they lead up to first flight. Either way still neat to see the thing rolled out and looking all nice.

posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 08:26 AM
rolls-royce would of fixed the engines.
The old herc has had its day.
the a400 is the perfect size for most nations.

posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 09:24 AM
reply to post by Canada_EH

She looks sharp when she's all dressed up

Thanks for the update

posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 03:58 PM
From the sounds of things on the web the 2nd production/test plane should be ready for flight for the end of the year as well. Which will be followed by planes 3,4,5 in the 09 year. At this point the first flight of MSN0001 is probably going to be dictated by how fast the TP400 on the C-130 testbed racks up its 50 test-flight hours before MSN0001 is cleared to fly.

posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 08:19 AM

Originally posted by Canada_EH

Looks quite stubby.... in terms of both fuselage length and wing aspect ratio.

I guess it has a short wide fuselage to fit short wide equipment in, and a limited wingspan for footprint.

posted on Aug, 6 2008 @ 08:40 AM
reply to post by kilcoo316

Hey Kilcoo while I agree that it seems "stubby" if you look at the C-17 it is very similar.

If you went just a bit more arial I'm sure it would look even more similar. The footprint as you said I'm sure dictates a lot of the reasoning behind the "look" but also what they can get away with when it has the stubby airframe and the resulting control as well in the aerodynamics of the plane as well.

posted on Aug, 6 2008 @ 09:03 AM
More news on the possible delays front which seems to be on of those airmasses that is ever looming. This time the blame lays again with the engine and software.

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.

Also of note in the article is the fact that the TP400 test which is a C-130 from Marshall has only logged 4 ground run ups and at this point at the beginning of august it was supposed to have done its first flight test.

Basically the short of it is that the A400 program at this point if the powerplant issues don't get resolved quickly could be up to another 6 months late.

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 05:19 PM
First flight is delayed until after the first of the year. The C-130 hasn't even begun to fly yet, but they say that it will happen in the coming weeks. Delivery is still supposed to be on schedule, but I suspect we'll see that slipping soon too.

Safran and Airbus Military are fighting over who is to blame. Airbus Military says the engines aren't available for the flight, but Safran says they engines are there, but the control software isn't and AM is supposed to have that done.

[edit on 9/25/2008 by Zaphod58]

posted on Sep, 26 2008 @ 04:33 PM

update on the program

posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 07:46 PM
Sadly for those military units waiting for this aircraft, there is a very real possibility that this project may be canceled.

Lois Galois has stated that any profit to be realized from the sale of the aircraft has already been absorbed into production costs. further the Governments of the two largest purchasers have vehemently stated that they will not forgo compensation for delays.

Airbus and EADS have a serious problem with delays already absorbing huge amounts of money from the rewiring of the A380, and that problem is yet to be resolved.

Nobody should be surprised that to ensure the financial survival of Airbus and EADS the A400M project will be canceled, and though cancellation penalties will be large it will be cheaper in the long run than the alternative.

posted on Nov, 25 2008 @ 08:46 AM
Well more great news.

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,

Well this will have an impact with export countries so now we will just have to wait and see how much more crap they can take from delays before they make public statements because I'm sure they are already in talk privately with Airbus.

posted on Nov, 25 2008 @ 01:22 PM
Airbus military are tearing there hair out with Marshalls Aerospace - THEY are the problem here , the engine hasn`t even FLOWN yet

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