Airbus Military's A400M transport has undergone its first low-speed taxi trial, with the milestone having taken place near Seville, Spain on 23 November. "The Airbus Military A400M airlifter has moved under its own power for the first time", the company says.
In a series of tests spanning 90min, aircraft MSN001 was moved at speeds of up to 20kt (37km/h), with its pilots having "tested the normal, alternate and emergency braking systems, the anti-skid system, the nose wheel steering and reverse power," Airbus says. The transport also made 180° turns and was taxied in reverse, it adds.
© Airbus Military
"We were impressed with the ease with which we could taxi the aircraft in terms of the precision and ease of use of the nose wheel steering, and the effectiveness of the braking systems," says chief test pilot military Ed Strongman.
Airbus - which only ran MSN001's four Europrop International TP400-D6 turboprop engines together for the first time on 18 November - says further taxi tests will be conducted "at increasingly high speeds" over the next few days. It expects the A400M to make its delayed flight debut before year-end.