A400M reaches for the sky

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Airbus Military approaches first flight in cautiously optimistic mood as contractual and technical issues make progress having served for the past 15 months as a resolutely earthbound monument to all that can go wrong with big-ticket pan-European defence projects, the Airbus Military A400M is finally poised to deliver.

Beset by problems associated with the aircraft’s unprecedentedly complex full-authority digital engine control software since its official roll-out in June 2008, a mood of cautious optimism is returning to the project’s Madrid management team.

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