Airbus Military expects to accept flightworthy engine control software for its delayed A400M transport this week, putting it on track to achieve first flight by the end of the year.
"We are accepting the final software release for flight this week," says Rafael Tentor, Airbus Military senior vice president and head of A400M programme, speaking to journalists at the company's Getafe headquarters near Madrid. "We are on track for static engine ground runs [on the A400M] by mid-November."
The Lockheed Martin C-130 which serves as the Europrop International TP400's flying testbed is due to make two more flights "next week", after which it will "definitely be grounded", says Tentor.
Regarding the full-authority digital engine control (FADEC) software, the development of which has directly contributed to extensive delays to the A400M's first flight, he says: "We have just a handful of issues needing correction before first flight."
Aside from the FADEC software, all systems have been tested and are ready for flight, says Tentor. "We are now increasingly confident that we will perform the first flight by the end of the year," he says.