The Airbus A400M’s first year of operational service has been marked by solid reliability from its TP400-D6 engines, says Europrop International (EPI) president Ian Crawford.

“Things are going as we would have wanted, and as we planned for,” Crawford says of the activities to date with the French and Turkish air forces’ combined three delivered examples. “The engine in service is demonstrating the capabilities that the customers wanted, and we have had very positive feedback.”

Combined, the two French and one Turkish Atlas have amassed around 2,000 engine flight hours. “We have had no significant engine issues, no engine removals or major module removals,” Crawford says; just “the usual line maintenance snags you would expect.”

EPI has ramped up its production of the TP400 turboprop to match Airbus’s increased final assembly rate for the tactical airlifter. Some 11 “Atlas” transports are due to be handed over before year-end, with three of these now in the delivery process for France and the first examples to be handed over to the UK and Germany.

Crawford describes the production ramp up as “quite an exciting time”, with lead export user Malaysia to get its first A400M early next year.

“We have delivered to Airbus all engines required to deliver all aircraft due this year,” says Crawford, up to production aircraft MSN20. EPI is already testing the TP400s for aircraft MSN22, he adds, and in December will ship its 100th production engine to the airframer.

“The [engine] production system is certainly demonstrating its robustness,” he says. “I have no concerns on the production side.”

Crawford says EPI is also anticipating further orders for the A400M. “Export is something we’re very keen to pursue. The aircraft is getting attention – you just need to look at it flying at a show like this to see why. We are seeing growing interest, and by the time it is in use with the UK, Germany and Malaysia there will be much more visibility to other potential customers.”

Source: Flight Daily News