Airbus Military is set to launch a new campaign of icing trials using A400M "Grizzly One", with the activity to come as its development fleet has also cleared its first 1,000 take-offs and landings.

Photographed in Toulouse, France by AirSpace user Commercial Aviation, the aircraft has recently been equipped with a distinctive orange housing on its upper fuselage. This contains a camera that will observe the leading edge of its all-composite wing during natural icing trials.

 A400M for icing - Commercual Aviation gallery on A
© Commercial Aviation gallery on

One of the images also shows the aircraft with red and yellow "chequerboard" markings on the wing, which Airbus Military says will assist it in assessing the degree of icing experienced.

 A400M for icing detail - Commercual Aviation galle
© Commercial Aviation gallery on

The forthcoming trials will build on earlier work performed with artificial ice shapes installed on another Grizzly. "Handling qualities remain outstanding despite the severe ice shapes in normal and failure conditions," Airbus Military said of the previous tests, which revealed that less of the wing required de-icing than had previously been forecast.

Grizzly One is also shown sporting a new-style A400M marking on its fuselage aft of the cockpit. This will be added to all development aircraft "in the very near future", Airbus Military said.

The company's current four development aircraft had flown a combined 535 sorties totalling 1,710h by 7 June. The company had by the same date performed a total of 1,040 take-offs and landings, with several having been conducted during single sorties since the type's flight debut in December 2009.