PICTURE: Turkey's first A400M gets airborne

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Airbus Military has performed a 5h 30min first flight with an A400M transport for the Turkish air force.

Conducted from the manufacturer's San Pablo final assembly site in Seville, Spain on 9 August, the milestone moves aircraft MSN9 closer to its planned delivery later this year. Airbus Military has previously outlined a schedule to hand over Ankara's first of 10 examples in late September.

Airbus Military

Turkey's first pilots, loadmasters and technicians for the A400M are already receiving instruction on the new type at the San Pablo site's international training centre, the company says.

MSN9 is the third production A400M to have been flown to date, with the previous two having been built for lead operator the French air force. Airbus Military delivered the programme's first aircraft to the service early this month.

Meanwhile, Airbus Military's flight test campaign with the A400M currently involves a fresh series of unpaved runway trials, using development aircraft "Grizzly 2" at a site near Zaragoza, Spain.