Airbus Military should celebrate two further milestones in its A400M programme before the end of this month.
The company recently passed the first anniversary of the start of its flight test campaign involving the European transport. Aircraft MSN1 made its debut sortie from San Pablo airport near Seville, Spain on 11 December 2009.
Operating from San Pablo and Toulouse, France, the company’s now three available aircraft had logged 292 flights and a combined 965h aloft during the programme’s first year of flight activity. Some 200h of this total has been added since early November.
© Airbus Military
Airbus Military expects its fleet to break through the 1,000 flight hour mark before year-end, with the aircraft likely to be joined next week by MSN4, its fourth of an eventual five development aircraft. The last aircraft should fly during 2011.
Rejected take-off trials with MSN4 were due to take place on 16 December, with the process the last to be conducted ahead of its first flight event.
Production deliveries of 170 A400Ms on order for Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK should commence around early 2013, with four also to be delivered to export buyer Malaysia.