Airbus is planning to undertake the potentially destructive maximum-energy rejected take-off (RTO) test on one of its A380 test aircraft in the coming weeks at the Istres flight-test centre in southern France.

The manufacturer says that Rolls-Royce Trent 900-powered A380-800 MSN001 (F-WWOW) will be used for the test, which is planned for “early March”. However the exact date will be decided at very short notice “as the test requires very calm weather conditions”, adds Airbus.

The maximum-energy RTO test has been scheduled for the end of the test campaign in case there is any damage is suffered, as has occurred on previous programmes. The test requires that the aircraft to be brought to a halt from its maximum V1 speed (at the maximum take-off weight of 569t) using only wheel brakes which must be 90% worn. When this test was carried out on the A340-600 the landing gear suffered severe damage. 

Last year, A380 MSN001 (above) completed a "high-energy" RTO test below the maximum take-off weight to clear the ultra large aircraft for the "early long flight" and route-proving flights which were undertaken in September.

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