A second A400M has joined Airbus Military’s operational flight test fleet, and taken the delayed type past the 70 flight hour mark.
Piloted by Michel Gagneux, Karl-Heinz Mai and with three flight test engineers aboard, aircraft MSN002 completed a 4h 50min debut sorties from Seville, Spain on 8 April. Carrying heavy flight-test instrumentation, the aircraft got airborne with a take-off weight of 128t; 13t below the A400M’s expected maximum.
“The crew confirmed that the aircraft and its four Europrop International TP400D engines performed in line with expectations,” Airbus Military says.
© Airbus Military
“Having MSN002 join the flying programme will help us accelerate the rate of progress in building flight hours,” says head of flight operations Fernando Alonso.
The first of five flight test aircraft, MSN001, has now flown 15 times and spent over 66h in the air. The platform made its 3h 45min debut flight on 11 December last year and was recently moved to Toulouse, France.
MSN003 should fly “by the beginning of the summer”, according to the European manufacturer, with the fourth aircraft to follow suit around year-end.