Airbus Military has today received full Type Certification for the A400M new generation airlifter, marking a critical step towards delivery of the first aircraft to the French Air Force.
Award of the Type Certificate makes the A400M the world’s first large military transport to be designed and certified to civil standards from its inception. Military Initial Operating Clearance is ongoing, paving the way towards first delivery.
The Type Certificate was presented to Airbus Military by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification director Dr Norbert Lohl, Reuters reports.
Airbus Military CEO Domingo Ureña Raso said: “I would like to thank everyone in Airbus, Airbus Military and at EASA who has worked so hard to achieve this certification. It is an enormously gratifying moment to have confirmation that the A400M has fully demonstrated its compliance with the most stringent airworthiness standards. This is an aircraft that is going to transform the military airlift world in the years ahead and we look forward with great excitement to the first delivery.”
Cedric Gautier, Airbus Military Head of A400M programme, said: “Certifying the A400M to civil as well as military standards has been a huge challenge for us, our suppliers and EASA itself. But by providing a firm framework for certification from day one, to globally accepted standards, both we and the operators will see important benefits as the aircraft matures in service and new customers join the programme.”
During the certification programme, the A400M has undergone exhaustive testing of its handling qualities throughout the flight envelope in normal and failure conditions; demonstrated outstanding performance in the heat of the Gulf, cold of Sweden and Canada, and at the high altitude of La Paz, Bolivia; and satisfactorily completed more than 300 hours of function and reliability testing to demonstrate the robustness of its TP400 engines and systems.
Additionally, it has begun tests of more advanced military functions such as air-to-air refuelling, airdropping of supplies and paratroopers, and low-level flight – all with highly encouraging results. The five-strong fleet of “Grizzly” development aircraft has now completed 4 800 hours in the air during more than 1 600 flights, and will continue intensively to expand the A400M’s military capabilities.
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 manoeuvrability, 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 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.