Flightglobal.com has obtained an image of the first Airbus Military A400M flight-test aircraft resting on its own landing gear at the final assembly line near Seville, Spain. The transport is awaiting installation of its composite wing and empennage, together with its four Europrop International TP400 turboprop engines.
Aircraft MSN001 will be the first of six aircraft being dedicated to flight testing, and should fly by mid-2008, says Airbus parent EADS.
EADS recently announced a delay of up to a year to first deliveries of A400Ms to the French air force. The programme's seven European launch nations and two export customers have between them ordered 192 aircraft and had originally expected deliveries to start in November 2009.