EADS has confirmed the A400M first flight is postponed beyond the end of this year, but the impact on the delivery schedule remains unclear.
The “unavailability” of the 10,000shp Europrop TP400-D6, the most powerful turboprop engine developed by the West, is blamed for the new delay.
The program is still waiting for the flying test bed – a C-130 modified by Marshall Airspace with one TP400-D6 under-wing – to get off the ground. That test campaign “should start in the coming weeks”, EADS says.
First flight of the A400M also depends now upon the “readiness of the propulsion system,” the company adds.
“Only after this and further discussions with customers, the financial, technical and schedule implications can be reliably assessed,” EADS says.
The company is not changing its 2008 guidance.
The A400M was launched in May 2003 and has amassed 192 orders from Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Malaysia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey and the UK.