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A400M Flight Testing Progress

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A400M Flight Testing Progress

Old 25th Jun 2019, 23:58
  #361 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
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.
Hello, Cornish Jack.

Like most people, I don't know that much about the Beverley. I gather she was a fascinating creature.
Was that boom hatch that you mentioned something like the hole in the bottom of a Stirling that SOE agents dropped out of?
I did not know such a hatch was present in the Beverley's boom.
I remember one of our guys drew a cartoon about the training jumps out of the bottom of Whitleys. They were not their happiest memories with a real risk of hitting their heads on the trailing edge of the hatch. Maybe the hatch was bigger on the Beverley, or maybe she could fly at slower speeds for the drop.

Best regards, Transall.
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Old 26th Jun 2019, 08:14
  #362 (permalink)  
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https://www.paradata.org.uk/article/...erley-aircraft

”.....In the parachuting role it carried 70 fully equipped parachutists, 30 jumping from an aperture in the Boom and 40 from the double doors either side of the Lower Deck. Aperture and door jumping could not however be done simultaneously......”

Video below, about 20 seconds in, seems to show film shot from the open clamshell doors of the paras dropping from the hatch above....

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Old 26th Jun 2019, 09:01
  #363 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by melmothtw View Post
Or Antonov An-70 / 188

I believe the UK MoD actually DID look at the AN-70 way back - maybe not totally seriously but they did trawl the pond before settling on getting C-17's from Hertz...............
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Old 26th Jun 2019, 09:55
  #364 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post

Video below, about 20 seconds in, seems to show film shot from the open clamshell doors of the paras dropping from the hatch above....

https://youtu.be/4Es3tXgbhsU
Thanks, ORAC.

That certainly looks like it. What a marvelous location to observe parachute jumps from!
The Beverley seems to have been a bit like a flying multi-storey building.

Best regards, Transall.
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Old 26th Jun 2019, 10:08
  #365 (permalink)  
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I’m reminded of the apocryphal story of the Beverly joining the circuit in the USA and being asked “check three greens” and replying “down and welded”.
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Old 26th Jun 2019, 10:30
  #366 (permalink)  
 
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Beverly crossing the Channel, on hand over to French ATC:-

You seem to be followed by 2 objects.
That's Ok, it's our fins
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Old 26th Jun 2019, 19:46
  #367 (permalink)  
 
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"Speed matter more than numbers" said the well spoken commentator reassuringly...
I bet todays bean counters would agree!
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Old 27th Jun 2019, 08:19
  #368 (permalink)  
 
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Asturias56 wrote:
I believe the UK MoD actually DID look at the AN-70 way back - maybe not totally seriously but they did trawl the pond before settling on getting C-17's from Hertz...............
Actually, it was the An124.

As I once wrote:
The Future Large Aircraft (FLA) was originally supposed to replace all the RAF’s large a/c. That proved unfeasible, so the tanker/transport requirement became Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) and another fight arose between A400M and C130J as the Future Transport Aircraft (FTA). FSTA then became a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project; the preferred platform became the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) rather than the B767 offered by the rival TTSC. Meanwhile, A400M which had been the FLA was given the go-ahead to be the FTA; however, to fill the gap, a Short Term Strategic Airlifter, STSA, was needed and that became a fight between the An124 and the C-17. The RAF decided upon leased C-17s as STSA to fill the gap before FTA became reality; however, the C-17s were then bought and the STSA became another FTA, but not the sole FTA as that is still the A400M. Which, of course had once been FLA and rejected as FSTA. Nevertheless, the Common Standard Aircraft (CSA) A400M does have a requirement to have an AAR role (except for the RAF), but not as a strategic tanker as that is the job of the FSTA, the A330 MRTT – which also has immense AT capability as well as its AAR capability but is seemingly not considered to be a FTA even though it is.... Although there is, of course, the A310 MRTT in service with other countries but not offered by any of the FSTA bidders even though it had been studied under an earlier project by MoD Department of Future Systems (DFS) as it then was when a Multi Role Tanker Transport rather than a Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft was being considered.

So:

C-17 which was the STSA but wasn't an FSTA became an FTA.
A400M which was FLA, then rejected as FSTA became the 'official' FTA.
A330 MRTT became the FSTA under PFI but not a FTA .
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Old 27th Jun 2019, 08:31
  #369 (permalink)  
 
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Or as a wag once told me in Singapore " the Beverley is a great aircraft with an impressive payload/range! 'a load of ping pong balls around the world or a tank to runway holding point'"
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Old 27th Jun 2019, 09:47
  #370 (permalink)  
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Wasn't a Beverly, battling a headwind on its way across France, once overtaken by a train?
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Old 27th Jun 2019, 10:06
  #371 (permalink)  
 
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treadigraph wrote:
Wasn't a Beverley, battling a headwind on its way across France, once overtaken by a train?
Indeed it was - I recall reading about it in a contemporary edition of Air Clues. Did it really only cruise at about 150KIAS at 8000ft?

The late Puddy Catt once told me how he'd been travelling back in the boom of a Bev from somewhere out East. During the cruise, the AQM came up to him and asked "Captain's compliments, sir, but would you like to take tea with him?". Rather curious at this, Puddy accepted and climbed down into the freight area - to find a table and chairs with linen, crockery and all the trimmings. Tea was served in bone china cups and little sandwiches without crusts were offered whilst the Captain and a few other crew members conversed politely. Puddy never discovered whether it was a wind-up to impress a sweaty Hunter pilot, or whether that was their normal standard of travelling.
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Old 27th Jun 2019, 18:39
  #372 (permalink)  
 
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Transall - the Bev boom hatch was a pair of 'flaps' in the floor at the rear of the boom they were lifted and folded to each side for dropping. The exit size was sufficient to allow full length body exit rather than the type of 'hole' used in the Stirling, Whitley/Halifax. While the boom door provided a much-liked para exit, it also caused the death of our co-pilot in Aden. The boom Elsans were directly aft of the hatch and we happened to have the only Bev not modded with 'pins' which prevented the toilet doors being opened when the hatch was open. Co's pre-flight needed a check of the tailend boosters.and while he was there, the hatch was opened and... Sad and unnecessary.
Much of the disparagement of the Bev was unfair. The RAF, not unusually, asked for a design spec and then used it operationally in a totally different and inappropriate role. When it was used in its design environment it was unbeatable. We spent 6 weeks on exercise at El Adem. operating at max weights into a sand strip that had to be changed every couple of landings and kept on going. Flogging it long-haul on the transport routes was a bit of a nonsense - particularly pumping transfer oil in the 'dog-kennel' every couple of hours.
Beagle's reported dining event sort of happened but was the result of a load of trestle tables and chairs being returned to the UK. Our AQMs (loady predecessors) had been sent on 'the Butty Course (at Lyneham) and were then allowed to order dry rations instead of lunch boxes. Bev 'catering' consisted of the Q's box of bread knives etc. and a small hot water boiler which could be used for heating soup and tea/coffee making. There were some quite inventive kitchen artists after a while! One, somewhat less so, was the presentation with cold salad of hot Heinz vegetable mayonnaise.
One fact which is rarely mentioned is that it was the first RAF Perf A aircraft.! Sleeve-valve magic, courtesy of quad Centauri!!
A further trifle from the memory nudge - our oldest and longest serving Q was 'Manny' Mercer. He got married in or about his 60s and was allowed to hold his wedding reception in the freightbay of a parked Bev at Abingdon. A great success, apparently, and appropriate use was made of the para-drop bomb-aimers platform in the nose - a small musical group played for the guests ... the platform was known, colloquially, as 'the bandstand' !

Last edited by Cornish Jack; 27th Jun 2019 at 19:02. Reason: sp and addition
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Old 27th Jun 2019, 20:04
  #373 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
Wasn't a Beverly, battling a headwind on its way across France, once overtaken by a train?
Once overtook a Noratlas as we flew North over France........but he’d got an engine stopped !
Also, regarding its freight carrying capacity, we took some communications truck to Zambia which weighed c25,000 pounds and Idris to Kano is a fairly long leg.
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Old 28th Jun 2019, 11:22
  #374 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks, Cornish Jack.

What a sad story about your co-pilot. My sincere condolences.

Best regards, Transall.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 15:35
  #375 (permalink)  
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AW&ST:

Germany has become the first Airbus A400M operator to deploy the airlifter overseas in an aerial refuelling role, sending an aircraft to Jordan to support coalition aircraft operating over Iraq and Syria.
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Old 18th Jul 2019, 07:24
  #376 (permalink)  
 
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I flew in Beverley many times on V Bomber dispersal exercises.It was interesting to count the number of passengers who tried to jump over the boom floor hatch on their way to and from the toilets.We had to pass the time somehow!
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Old 18th Jul 2019, 09:13
  #377 (permalink)  
 
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Ah yes, the lovely Bev.

as a keen young naive (18) airman straight out of Boy Entrant training I was delighted to to be sent overseas from Waddo on an Ex Sunspot to Luqa supporting the mighty Vulcan in its attempts to reduce the camel population of Libya. As pax I was seated in the boom of a flying block of flats for the trip.

Taking off from Waddo to the west I was surprised at the (lack of) rate of climb as we cleared the far boundary. In fact, we seemed to descend as we slowly passed the Lincoln edge below. Turning North I saw most of the airfield spread out at the same level as me, slowly, but very slowly dropping away. The gentle turn continued and we re-crossed the edge and just north of the Weatsheaf. The turn continued onto a roughly NE heading and with the wings level again and very close in to the WRAF block, I noticed (as you do) that two fire engines and the blood wagon had left their little houses by ATC and were headed across the grass towards the runway. I could just see them over the hangars. Very exciting, someone must be in trouble I guessed!

Our flight continued NE for a little bit, then turned gently again over the four white triangles on 'Q' This was followed very shortly by a view of some grass up close and in danger of becoming personal and an arrival on the runway about half way down. At this point I realised the blood wagon and fire combi was for us.

I later discovered it was due to due to something about an engine going into autofeather just after lift off. We were quite heavy (even for a Bev) and the drop off over the Lincoln Edge helped with our efforts to regain the airfield. With 20/20 hindsight and a bit more knowledge of aviating, I have often wondered why wIth Swinderby just off the nose why we didn't simply land ahead? Perhaps you guys have the answer.

It was fun at the time though!
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 07:21
  #378 (permalink)  
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Press Release.
The Airbus A400M new generation airlifter has successfully achieved its first helicopter air-to-air refueling contacts with an H225M. Over the course of 4 flights, operated in day conditions over the south of France, the A400M performed 51 dry contacts marking a decisive milestone towards its full capability as a tanker. These tests were performed under the coordination of the French “DGA Essais en vol” flight test centre.

The tests, involving no fuel and performed between 1,000 ft and 10,000 ft at flight speeds as low as 105 knots, confirmed the positive results of previous proximity flights conducted at the beginning of 2019. The next step in the flight test program will involve wet contact operations scheduled to take place before the end of 2019 ahead of final certification in 2021.

The flight test campaign also included the first proximity trials between the A400M and an H160 helicopter requested by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) in the frame of the feasibility study for the Guépard (future military multirole helicopter for the French armed forces). Tests were performed successfully.


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Old 25th Sep 2019, 09:23
  #379 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Transall View Post
Hello, Cornish Jack.

Like most people, I don't know that much about the Beverley. I gather she was a fascinating creature.
Was that boom hatch that you mentioned something like the hole in the bottom of a Stirling that SOE agents dropped out of?
I did not know such a hatch was present in the Beverley's boom.
I remember one of our guys drew a cartoon about the training jumps out of the bottom of Whitleys. They were not their happiest memories with a real risk of hitting their heads on the trailing edge of the hatch. Maybe the hatch was bigger on the Beverley, or maybe she could fly at slower speeds for the drop.

Best regards, Transall.
When I was still an ATC cadet, we were given a ride in a Beverley sitting in the main hold, but some of us decided to climb up into the tail boom. A cadet (not me) noticed an interesting looking handle and operated it; the doors in the floor of the tailboom started to open so he and several other cadets jumped on it to force it closed again!
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 09:26
  #380 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
https://www.paradata.org.uk/article/...erley-aircraft

”.....In the parachuting role it carried 70 fully equipped parachutists, 30 jumping from an aperture in the Boom and 40 from the double doors either side of the Lower Deck. Aperture and door jumping could not however be done simultaneously......”

Video below, about 20 seconds in, seems to show film shot from the open clamshell doors of the paras dropping from the hatch above....

https://youtu.be/4Es3tXgbhsU
The clamshell doors were actually removed and replaced with wind deflectors when paradropping.
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