Airbus Military's delayed A400M programme has been boosted by the completion of a roughly 54h flight campaign for the transport's Europrop International (EPI) TP400-D6 engine.

The final flight of a TP400-equipped Lockheed Martin C-130K was conducted from Marshall Aerospace's Cambridge airport site in the UK on 30 September, the eighteenth sortie of the heavily modified flight testbed since December 2008.

 TP400 FTB web - Marshall Aerospace
© Marshall Aerospace

A further 42 ground runs of the engine were also performed using the C-130, with Marshall saying the powerplant achieved a combined running time of 110h.

"The industry project team has successfully delivered important data to provide Airbus Military and its industry partners with key information on engine, propeller and nacelle performances," says Chris Bunney, Marshall's project director A400M flight testbed.

"The data gathered from the flight-test programme further demonstrates the confidence that Airbus has in the new EPI engine and Ratier-Figeac propeller combination," the UK company adds.

Pictured during its last outing, the test aircraft was recently modified to carry a probe above its cockpit housing further instrumentation and testing equipment, Marshall says.

Airbus Military in late September installed flightworthy TP400s on MSN001, its first production example of the A400M. Lead stakeholder EADS says it is increasingly confident that the transport will make its first flight before the end of this year.

Source: Flight International