by Staff Writers
Toulouse, France (SPX) Mar 11, 2010
This flight is the tenth performed by A400M MSN1 since its first flight on 11th December 2009. In total and until yesterday the aircraft has logged 39 hours of flight test.
Very poor weather in Seville prevented the aircraft from performing more flights, as the sensors installed on the turboprop blades for the initial flight test campaigns, are sensitive to humidity.
During the initial testing, MSN1 has flown at the type's maximum operating speed of 300kt (555km/hr), maximum Mach number of M0.72, down to the stall warning, and at an altitude of more than 30,000ft. It has operated extensively in both direct and normal control laws, and in different configurations.
The first A400M is equipped with heavy test instrumentation, as is the second aircraft which was handed over to Flight Test on 6th March and is due to fly in the next few weeks. MSN 3 is undergoing final production ground tests before engine installation. The aircraft is due to fly by the middle of this year.
Sections for MSN 4 have arrived in Seville for final assembly, with the main fuselage due to leave Bremen and be flown to Seville at the end of this week. MSN 4 is to fly in the second half of this year.
While MSN 1 and 2 are fitted with heavy test instrumentation, MSN 3 and 4 will have medium test instrumentation. The fifth aircraft, MSN6, which is the first built to production standards, is going to be fitted with light test instrumentation only. The five aircraft will perform a planned 3,700 flight-hours before first delivery of the A400M in late 2012.
Trials with MSN1, 3 and 6 will be performed in Toulouse, while those with MSN 2 and 4 will be done in Seville, providing greater flexibility and taking advantage of best weather conditions where available.
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com
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