Airbus Military's A400M "Grizzly" has completed sufficient simulated flight-cycle testing on a full-scale airframe to achieve civil type certification of the airlifter by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The test specimen at Airbus's Dresden plant, known as MSN5001, has undergone 1,665 cycles, about five times the maximum number of flights expected to be recorded annually by each in-service A400M.

By mid-2012, 25,000 simulated flights will be performed - equating to 2.5 times the A400M´s design-life.

The test programme is required to simulate flights at least one year ahead of the actual operations performed by the aircraft.

Dresden test frame

 © Airbus

Source: Flight International