Europrop International's TP400-D6 engine - the principle cause of delays to the Airbus Military A400M transport project - has at last undergone its first ground run with a Marshall Aerospace-owned Lockheed Martin C-130 flight testbed (FTB).
Performed at Marshall's Cambridge airport site on 10 June, the milestone comes just days before EADS plans to host a 26 June roll-out ceremony for the first production A400M at its Seville final assembly facility in southern Spain.
© Marshall Aerospace
"The ground runs will enable the engineers to test and measure the engine starts, nacelle ventilation, intake distortion, engine noise behaviour and undertake the vibration stress survey to clear the new Ratier-Figeac/Hamilton Sundstrand propeller," says Marshall. More than 30h of ground tests are required before the testbed will be able to make its delayed first flight, the company adds.
EADS has previously said that the FTB must log 50 flight test hours before the A400M can fly, and the current pace of progress raises fresh questions as to whether it will be able to meet its revised target of achieving the debut this "summer".
"We now look forward to working together with Airbus Military and Marshall on the flight test programme, and demonstrating that the engine satisfies the performance criteria and sets new standards for a turboprop of this size," says EPI president Nick Durham.