A400M readies for first flight, or last hurrah?

German media group Focus reports that Airbus may cancel the A400M after PriceWaterhouseCoopers warned the turboprop-powered airlifter could suffer an $8 billion cost overrun. EADS has brushed off the unsourced report as “speculation”. Meanwhile, aerospace journalists are descending upon Seville, Spain, this evening in advance of a pre-first flight press conference scheduled for tomorrow. Flightglobal’s defence editor, Craig Hoyle, will be in the crowd. Stay tuned …


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7 Responses to A400M readies for first flight, or last hurrah?

  1. Solomon 1 December, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    Great article. Google translator has alot of holes left in it. I couldn’t make heads or tails of parts of that translation.

  2. Uwe 1 December, 2009 at 8:42 pm #

    Looks like a choreographed mix of “Nussknacker” and “Schwanensee”.

    A lot of US leaning interested parties would like to see
    it dead. On the other hand EADS needs the product.

  3. FF2 1 December, 2009 at 10:48 pm #

    Solomon: a brief summary of the article. According to PWC, A400M will cost a lot more than planned [but not so much more as some other reports have it, I notice]. If the project doesn’t go ahead it will be cancelled. Lots of engineers working on the A400M who could be workingon the A350 instead.

  4. J3 2 December, 2009 at 11:27 am #

    My guess? The Chinese (and perhaps the Russians) will step in to bank roll the plane in exchange for tech transfers/mfring rights, etc. I have read that the Chinese want to build their own strategic transport similar to the C-17, but maybe the A400 would do. Meanwhile, Russia’s aviation industry is nearing being worthless in comparison to its Western competitors. Thus, for that industry the A400 may be the equivalent of the Mistral for its moribund ship-building industry. Along the way, look for Chinese/Russian engineers to fill the A350′s “engineer gap.” By the time all is said and done, Boeing and the US will face an aerospace juggernaut controlling the vast Europe/Chinese market to which we may have no access.

  5. Royce 2 December, 2009 at 2:14 pm #

    It sounds like Airbus is at the point where it doesn’t see itself making any money on the aircraft. At the end of the day, the technical risk in a military program is primarily on the buyers. And Euro defense budgets are getting so constricted that they don’t have a lot of extra cash to toss at fixing the A400M.

    I will be surprised if it gets canceled, but I can see the reasons why it would be left for dead.

  6. Herkeng130 3 December, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    I cannot wait to see her fly. This is an area that is needed. The C-130Js are not much better (if at all) then the older C-130 Classics and the C-17 is just too large for most operations namely Tactical Airlift in forward operations. I do however think there are many things about this aircraft I do not like. I think that the counter rotating props are a huge mistake in thinking with a maintenance frame of mind. The cost is a ball kicker and NO country should be comfortable paying that kind of money for a trash hauler… they should be built basic, sturdy, and reliable and sadly I just do not see these futures in this aircraft. She will go the way of the C-160 in no time…if she even makes it that far.

  7. Bjørnar Bolsøy 11 December, 2009 at 10:13 am #

    First flight video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX-kIUYRyDk

    B. Bolsøy

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