One month after four of its flight-test personnel were killed when an A400M tactical transport crashed in Seville, Airbus Defence & Space has committed itself to performing a full display with the type at the Paris air show.
In a statement released on 10 June, the company says: “The A400M will take part in the flying display at the Paris air show, and will perform the same routine that it has been demonstrating at airshows since 2010.”
Airbus – which had previously confirmed that development aircraft MSN6 would be in the static display at Le Bourget – adds that the aircraft will be flown on each of the event’s trade days, from 15-19 June. The aircraft will be flown by company test pilots Tony Flynn and Ignacio “Nacho” Lombo, it adds.
“We have complete confidence in the A400M and we are delighted to fly our demo as planned. We want to share our pride in the aircraft with all the passionate aviators at Le Bourget,” says head of military aircraft Fernando Alonso.
Elements of Airbus’s display routine for the “Atlas” include a signature high-speed pass, climb and 120˚ overbank manoeuvre.
Initial assessments of the flight data and cockpit voice recorders from crashed aircraft MSN23 conducted by the Spanish military’s CITAAM organisation showed that a power setting problem affecting three of the A400M’s Europrop International TP400-D6 engines led to the 9 May crash.
Airbus has yet to comment on the accident’s likely effect on its already reduced delivery plan for the European airlifter this year. Twelve of the type have been delivered so far to the air forces of France, Germany, Malaysia, Turkey and the UK, from a current order for 174 of the type from these nations, plus Belgium and Luxembourg.