While attending Airbus Military's Trade Media Briefing in Toulouse last week, I watched A400M development aircraft "Grizzly 2" setting off on its way to performing the type's first unpaved runway landing trials at Cottbus-Drewitz airport in Germany.
The company today issued a brief press release and one picture from the trials activity, and stated that the aircraft "performed a series of ground runs on the grass surface including maximum-braked rejected take-offs".
As I reported on Flightglobal last Friday, things didn't go entirely to plan, with the aircraft's left-hand main wheels having broken through the upper surface of the runway at the end of one maximum braked rejected take-off exercise. Analysis is ongoing to find out whether pre-trial measurements about the grass strip were accurate; perhaps it had been too drizzly for the Grizzly?
"The aircraft will return in due course for further trials," Airbus Military says. It will be hoping for better luck next time.