EADS sees first A400M flight around year-end

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The delayed Airbus A400M military airlifter will likely fly for the first time around the end of this year, Louis Gallois, chief executive of European aerospace and defence group EADS has told L’Express magazine.

Asked whether comments by the head of French aerospace group Safran earlier this year suggesting a first flight was possible before the end of the year were realistic, Gallois said: “With a margin of a few weeks, yes.”

Safran co-leads a four-nation consortium with Britain‘s Rolls-Royce to build the engine for the A400M, Reuters adds.

The A400M, which is running 3-4 years late and is expected to cost EADS billions of euros in charges, is Europe’s biggest military project and seen as crucial to EADS’ efforts to reduce dependence on Airbus passenger jets.

 



Pic: Artists’ impression of a busy A400M airbase. This one in France.