Friday, December 18, 2009


The first Airbus A400M military airlifter took to the air on 11 December for a 3 hour 47 minute test flight. Takeoff was from the Seville airport in Spain where constructor EADS has a facility. This was the start of a testing programme scheduled to involve 4,370 flying hours.

The Belgian Air Force has ordered 7 of these to replace its ageing fleet of Herculeses. Theoretically it makes sence since, with capabilities roughly double that of the C 130, 7 would do as an equivalent to the original 15 Hercs - the A400M is powered by four Europrop International TP400D engines with 11,000 shaft horsepower. Personally, I'd rather see us buy 10, plus two C-17 Globemasters, but who am I to make recommendations. It will be a good thing for Germany too, with the Luftwaffe having ordered sixty or so. It will mark a quantum leap from their 'diminutive' C-160 Transalls.


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