Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

A400M Flight Testing Progress

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

A400M Flight Testing Progress

Old 22nd Jun 2019, 07:11
  #341 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Age: 50
Posts: 1,431
Well the An132, Hercules and A400M are different planes with fairly different capabilities (and price tag). Surprised they are not considering the KC90
atakacs is offline  
Old 22nd Jun 2019, 07:49
  #342 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 10,074
Same class as the C-130. If they want the larger capacity the, with the C-17 line shut, the only real options are the A-400M, or the Chinese Y-20.
ORAC is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2019, 01:04
  #343 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 849
Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Same class as the C-130. If they want the larger capacity the, with the C-17 line shut, the only real options are the A-400M, or the Chinese Y-20.
Or Kawasaki C-2.
rjtjrt is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2019, 07:45
  #344 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: aus
Posts: 50
boeing/embraer KC-390 is in the same class as the herc, C-2 is same class as the a A-400
rattman is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2019, 08:36
  #345 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 19
May I ask a question from a position of complete ignorance? Iím an infantryman of the non-parachuting kind, though have spent plenty of time as cargo in C-130s and C-17s. Iíve always wondered why static line parachutists need to be deployed from parachute doors rather than simply trotting off the ramp. I assume itís something frightfully involved concerning airflow, but is anyone able to educate me? And why is it more of a problem with the A400 than other types? I havenít found myself in one yet, but have been slightly baffled as to why we didnít just continue with the C-130 / C-17 mix, given the availability and proven characteristics of both (then - I know that new C-17s arenít an option now). Ta!
exrivofrigido is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2019, 08:45
  #346 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ferrara
Posts: 351
Partly because the UK were supporting AIrbus as an industry - there wasn't much UK content on either a C-130 or C-17

Partly on cost grounds - the C-17's sold to India were over $ 350 million each whereas the "target " price for an A400 is $85 million but are more like $ 120 million each
Asturias56 is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2019, 08:47
  #347 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ferrara
Posts: 351
Originally Posted by rjtjrt View Post

Or Kawasaki C-2.
and both completely unproven with no world wide support network.............
Asturias56 is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2019, 09:10
  #348 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 19
Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
Partly because the UK were supporting AIrbus as an industry - there wasn't much UK content on either a C-130 or C-17

Partly on cost grounds - the C-17's sold to India were over $ 350 million each whereas the "target " price for an A400 is $85 million but are more like $ 120 million each

Interesting. I know C-17s werenít cheap, but that seems steep. This source (https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com...d-a-5th-02506/) suggests ours were in a range up to about $265 per unit. Perhaps the Indian price includes support? Either way slightly eye-watering, but seems as if A400 is now getting into that range, which is somewhat painful given that C-130s are a lot cheaper and we already have C-17s for the big stuff. But then Iím wildly excited by my shiny new A3 rifle (actually made in 1986), so really big shiny things are beyond me! Anyway, about paratroopers and ramps...
exrivofrigido is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2019, 10:45
  #349 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Belgium
Posts: 19
Originally Posted by exrivofrigido View Post

Anyway, about paratroopers and ramps...
Hi,

There are guys with a lot more knowledge than myself here, but I'll start with this.
The goal of static line mass jumps is to put a lot of paratroopers into the boundaries of the DZ. A lot of paratroopers are getting out as fast as possible. That means there is a risk of collisions and being a bit too close the others. If another guy with a deployed 'chute slips below you, you need to walk off his chute ASAP, because his parachute will take all the air and yours will collapse.
It's not uncommon for the guy on top to walk off, drop quite a bit while his 'chute fills wih air again and ends up exactly below the other guy who then loses the air. You really want to end that type of cascade before you get close to the ground.
So, the bit of extra separation from getting out the side doors is welcome.
A friend of mine did a static line jump from the ramp. He said that they provided him with a special extended static line. He was the only one to jump off the ramp on that occasion.
I've seen footage of Special Forces doing static line jumps off the ramp, but these were smaller numbers of jumpers on a single row.

Best regards, T.
Transall is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2019, 10:45
  #350 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: aus
Posts: 50
Originally Posted by exrivofrigido View Post
! Anyway, about paratroopers and ramps...
Asked a jump master the same thing a few years ago. You can more out of a doors faster than a ramp was his answer, a mass jump from a ramp could lead to problems/dangers, but a small amount of jumpers from a ramp was easier to configure
rattman is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2019, 10:49
  #351 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: UK East Anglia
Age: 62
Posts: 666
Exrivo,
some earlier discussion on this back at post 330.
can get more out of the side doors in a shorter time hence greater concentration on DZ.
static line out of the ramp on c130 when following loads (particularly boats)
issue is Vortices. A400M particularly tricky. With bodies drawn back towards the aircraft rather than away from it, in spite of gravity. Hung up static line parachutist would be seriously hurt looking at the dents on the side of the trials aircraft. That’s why they used dummies!
Great publicity in early days of A400M freefall parachuting from the ramp.
Good to see my ex colleagues recently Commented for developing Air Drop capability from A400M. Airbus always assumed it would be easy and the aircraft delivered with basic clearances for parachuting and airdrop. Clearly it is quite challenging nd a long way to go.
dragartist is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2019, 13:20
  #352 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 19
All very interesting - thank you. As a wise man once told me Ďonly a fool would jump out of a perfectly serviceable aeroplane, but we all know that if itís painted grey thereís no such thing as a perfectly serviceable aeroplane...í.

Clearly not simple to design or do, and the principle of massing force as quickly as possible on the DZ makes sense. Iíve had frequent discussions with airborne mates over the years about the real utility of massed drops in C21st, especially in the context of any sort of serious opposition, and I remain unconvinced that itís a serious act of war these days (though of course contexts in which it would certainly be of use) vice, for instance, massing with SH. Either way the vulnerability of the platforms to air defences and the difficulties of ensuring mass on target at the right time - even when we had a lot more platforms - are a significant planning challenge for someone. Not me thankfully! I do wonder, given the evident difficulties with making the A400 suitable for dropping, if Airbus didnít take it as seriously as other aspects of the design. And given the rather small fleet weíve purchased and the fact that we seem to be accepting it without too much squealing about the failure to meet Spec, perhaps they had a point - arguably we arenít really serious about military parachuting beyond very specialised applications.

Interesting debate, and no doubt it will continue. In the meantime, hopefully we wonít be in too much of a hurry to retire the C-130. Still got the Dakota I suppose!
exrivofrigido is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2019, 16:44
  #353 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: UK East Anglia
Age: 62
Posts: 666
Originally Posted by exrivofrigido View Post
I do wonder, given the evident difficulties with making the A400 suitable for dropping, if Airbus didnít take it as seriously as other aspects of the design. And given the rather small fleet weíve purchased and the fact that we seem to be accepting it without too much squealing about the failure to meet Spec, perhaps they had a point - arguably we arenít really serious about military parachuting beyond very specialised applications.

Interesting debate, and no doubt it will continue.
Airbus did take it all quite seriously in the beginning. Every nation had competing needs. There was quite a lot of customer engagement. They even employed a good few knowledgeable staff from those customers. Regular working groups were held in Bremen to discuss things such as the air deflectors, parachute step, the seating, the Loadmasters workstation and the cargo handling system. (Latches and Roller floor) and the parachutists oxygen system. One group had engagement over the use of CFD (computational Fluid Dynamics) to try to predict the airflow around the back with those big whirling bananas. The Airbus party line was always it will alright on the night. They were fighting against aircraft weight growth and had to make compromises. Our UK experience developing parachute and airdrop systems for the C130J should have given sufficient warning that this was a more complex issue on the A400M.
dragartist is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2019, 18:48
  #354 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 19
Originally Posted by dragartist View Post

Airbus did take it all quite seriously in the beginning. Every nation had competing needs. There was quite a lot of customer engagement. They even employed a good few knowledgeable staff from those customers. Regular working groups were held in Bremen to discuss things such as the air deflectors, parachute step, the seating, the Loadmasters workstation and the cargo handling system. (Latches and Roller floor) and the parachutists oxygen system. One group had engagement over the use of CFD (computational Fluid Dynamics) to try to predict the airflow around the back with those big whirling bananas. The Airbus party line was always it will alright on the night. They were fighting against aircraft weight growth and had to make compromises. Our UK experience developing parachute and airdrop systems for the C130J should have given sufficient warning that this was a more complex issue on the A400M.
Sounds rather like design by committee, pace ĎThe Pentagon Warsí etc. An old story, especially in aviation, but certainly not restricted to that field of military procurement - just look at the mess of the Armyís Ajax programme. Ah well - lack of paradrop capability in one aircraft type is probably not the greatest challenge facing the country at the moment, but (with feet firmly planted on the sod), I shall continue to follow with interest. Thanks for all patient explanations.
exrivofrigido is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2019, 22:52
  #355 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,243
The problem was identified with the trials of dropping from the boom hatch on the Beverley with the freight bay open for freight drops. The dummies were dropped out of the hatch and disappeared!! They were then discovered in the freight bay!! The solution, eventually, was the design and installation of the "elephant's ears" - spoiler plates attached either side of the freight bay to modify the slipstream. Talking to our 'customers' on various exercises, the majority opinion seemed to be that a Beverly boom exit was much the preferred option giving a comfortable ride.
Cornish Jack is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2019, 02:26
  #356 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ferrara
Posts: 351
Dropping people out of aeroplanes is a very niche requirement - it hasn't been a very effective way of inserting infantry since WW2 -

Dropping cargo and supplies is a different matter
Asturias56 is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2019, 03:16
  #357 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Balmullo,Scotland
Posts: 906
Originally Posted by dragartist View Post

Airbus did take it all quite seriously in the beginning. Every nation had competing needs. There was quite a lot of customer engagement. They even employed a good few knowledgeable staff from those customers. Regular working groups were held in Bremen to discuss things such as the air deflectors, parachute step, the seating, the Loadmasters workstation and the cargo handling system. (Latches and Roller floor) and the parachutists oxygen system. One group had engagement over the use of CFD (computational Fluid Dynamics) to try to predict the airflow around the back with those big whirling bananas. The Airbus party line was always it will alright on the night. They were fighting against aircraft weight growth and had to make compromises. Our UK experience developing parachute and airdrop systems for the C130J should have given sufficient warning that this was a more complex issue on the A400M.
I worked in Bremen in the reliability and maintainability department I was personally responsible for the mechanical drainage and cargo ramp hydraulic latching and locking systems.
matkat is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2019, 08:40
  #358 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,025
Originally Posted by matkat View Post
I worked in Bremen in the reliability and maintainability department I was personally responsible for the mechanical drainage and cargo ramp hydraulic latching and locking systems.
Good job you weren't involved in cargo compartment temperature control, gearboxes or cruise deck angle.... not sure you would be too popular on here!
VinRouge is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2019, 15:04
  #359 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: The back of beyond
Posts: 1,610
Quote:
Originally Posted by ORAC
Same class as the C-130. If they want the larger capacity the, with the C-17 line shut, the only real options are the A-400M, or the Chinese Y-20.

Or Kawasaki C-2.
Or Antonov An-70 / 188

melmothtw is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2019, 21:10
  #360 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 10,074
Not, as far as I am aware, in production.
ORAC is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.