Dec 10, 2012
Airbus Military has successfully completed the 300 hours of Function and Reliability (FR) flight-testing of the A400M new generation airlifter which is a key requirement prior to full certification.
Data from the FR program, which was performed entirely using the first production-representative aircraft – MSN6 / Grizzly 5 – is now being examined by the civil and military certification authorities for the A400M – respectively EASA and a committee appointed by OCCAR, says Airbus Military.
It is expected that the aircraft will receive the full civil Type Certificate and military Initial Operating Capability in the first quarter of next year subject to the approval of the relevant authorities. First delivery to the French Air Force, of MSN7, is planned for the second quarter, and a total of four aircraft will be delivered during the year in line with the schedule.
The FR testing was completed in just 32 days, during which the aircraft made 52 flights and visited 10 different airfields. The exercise is intended to examine the aircraft´s behavior in conditions representative of normal in-service experience, including both routine and simulated abnormal operations in a wide range of weather and locations. It helps minimize the risk to operational crews, particularly on new aircraft entering service, of malfunctions and failures that increase pilot workload.