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Fourth Airbus Military A400M makes first flight

20 Dec 2010

Grizzly fleet ends 2010 with 1,000 hours in the air

Madrid, 20 December 2010

The fourth Airbus Military A400M military airlifter has made its first flight – the culmination of a highly successful 2010 which also saw the fleet of Grizzly development aircraft complete just over 1,000 hours flight-time and 300 flights.

Known as Grizzly 4, the aircraft took off from Seville, Spain with a weight of 130 tonnes at 10h18 local time (GMT+1) and landed five hours and ten minutes later.

Experimental Test Pilot Klaus-Dietrich Flade captained the flight, supported by Experimental Test Pilot Christophe Cail. The crew also included Test Flight Engineers José Aragón-Gómez and, Bruno Bigand, and Flight Test Engineers José Casado-Corpas, and Catherine Schneider. Catherine is the first female Flight Test Engineer and test crew member to participate in an A400M first flight.

Grizzly 4 is the fourth of an eventual five aircraft which will conduct the 3,700 hour flight-test programme leading to first delivery in around two years time. It will be primarily dedicated to cargo and air-to-air refuelling operations and carries a medium flight-test instrumentation load.

Airbus Head of Flight Operations Fernando Alonso said: “The on-time first flight of Grizzly 4 highlights what has been an excellent first year of the flight-test programme. 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. I am particularly proud of the seamless work done by the Airbus and Airbus Military teams in the Seville and Toulouse Flight Test Centres which has been instrumental in this achievement.”

The maiden flight of Grizzly 4 followed the completion of a series of milestones in recent months – notably the first paratrooper jumps from the aircraft, which were highly successful and demonstrated the excellent potential of the aircraft for this military operation. Flights with the ramp and doors open have proceeded smoothly.

An extensive programme of flying the aircraft with simulated icing shapes attached to the wings and tail has been completed. These flights were performed by Airbus and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) flight crews and represent the first set of certification tests completed on the A400M.

Preliminary tests of protective kits for rough-field operations have been completed in preparation for next year´s trials.

Flight and ground load testing is complete, as is measurement of cruise performance. All major aircraft systems have been tested and flutter tests throughout the flight envelope are extremely close to completion.

The Europrop International (EPI) TP400 engines have been performing well, with the in-flight relight capability having been successfully demonstrated and ground starts following an overnight cold-soak recently performed. Behaviour of the auxiliary power unit has been excellent, and it has been started as high as 40,000ft.

Following the A400M’s maiden flight on 11the December 2009, earlier this year Grizzly 2 and Grizzly 3 made their first flights in respectively April and July and their introduction into the fleet made possible the outstanding demonstrations of the A400M´s handling qualities at the Berlin and Farnborough airshows.



2018

4 March 2018 | IHS Jane's

USMC prepares for F-35B maiden operational embarkation

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Read Full Article @ IHS Jane's 

1 March 2018 | Boeing

Boeing Receives U.S. Navy Contract to Modernize F/A-18 Super Hornet Fleet

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Read Full Article @ Boeing 

23 February 2018 | MILAVIA News

Saab rolled out first GlobalEye AEW&C

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Read Full Article @ MILAVIA News 

22 February 2018 | IHS Jane's

Russian Su-57 fifth-gen fighter prototypes touch down in Syria

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21 February 2018 | USAF News

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Read Full Article @ USAF News 

20 February 2018 | Flight Global

US clears RNLAF for $1.19b Apache upgrade deal

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20 February 2018 | Lockheed Martin

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Read Full Article @ Lockheed Martin 

12 February 2018 | Flight Global

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19 January 2018 | ACC

A-10 returns as a single-ship demonstration

hile all members of Davis-Monthan AFB have maintained our mission of sustaining attack airpower, a select group of Airmen have been preparing for an additional mission; demonstrating the capabilities of the A-10C Thunderbolt II. The A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team will perform demos for the first time in seven years for the 2018 air show season. The A-10 will be one of three single-ship aerial demonstration teams in Air Combat Command.

Read Full Article @ ACC 

14 January 2018 | Airbus Helicopters

First Tiger HAD retrofit delivered to the French Army Aviation

The first of 36 retrofits ordered by the French Ministry of Defence

Read Full Article @ Airbus Helicopters