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Tests confirm tactical capability complementing strategic performance
Airbus Military has completed an important set of trials of the A400M new generation airlifter, demonstrating the aircraft’s excellent performance on gravel runways. In tests lasting more than a week at Ablitas in northern Spain, development aircraft MSN2 performed 25 landings during six flights on the same runway.The trials confirmed that despite the harsh conditions, damage to the aircraft exterior from stones and dust was minimal and within expectations, and the runway remained usable after repeated operations.Demonstrations included ground manoeuvring, rejected take-offs, and use of propeller reverse thrust at speeds as low as 70kt (130 km/h) – none of which caused engine or cockpit contamination.Tests were successfully performed with and without the optional nosewheel deflector which can be fitted to protect the aircraft during such operations, underlying the A400M’s ability to operate to and from rough strips close to the scene of military or humanitarian action in addition to its strategic capability.Head of A400M Flight Tests, Eric Isorce, said: “We are extremely pleased with the results of these tests which were very close to all predictions and confirm the A400M´s capability to operate successfully from gravel runways.”About A400M:The A400M is an all-new military airlifter designed to meet the needs of the world's Armed Forces in the 21st Century. Thanks to its most advanced technologies, it is able to fly higher, faster and further, while retaining high maneuverability, low speed, and short, soft and rough airfield capabilities. It combines both tactical and strategic/logistic missions. With its cargo hold specifically designed to carry the outsize equipment needed today for both military and humanitarian disaster relief missions, it can bring this material quickly and directly to where it is most needed. Conceived to be highly reliable, dependable, and with a great survivability, the multipurpose A400M can do more with less, implying smaller fleets and less investment from the operator. The A400M is the most cost efficient and versatile airlifter ever conceived and absolutely unique in its capabilities.More information: www.eads.com