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A400M Flight Testing Progress

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A400M Flight Testing Progress

Old 20th May 2011, 14:29
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That's just an Airbus Military video straight from youtube:

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Old 22nd May 2011, 20:31
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Airbus cold weather video added two weeks ago..

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Old 15th Jun 2011, 22:22
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Following on from the IOC configuration, which equates to an aircraft suitable for basic logistic transport tasks, comes SOC1. To be declared in late 2013, this will add basic aerial delivery to the A400M's performance range. Each following after roughly one-year gaps, the subsequent 1.5 and 2 standards will respectively add full aerial delivery and tanker capability and enhanced tactical mission management and new functions such as polar navigation and time-on-arrival management, says Airbus Military.

Arriving in late 2017, SOC2.5 will deliver "enhanced tanker capabilities and search-and-rescue patterns". The final, SOC3 standard will bring in advanced capabilities including low-level flight functionality.

The company plans to start proving the aircraft fully to its customers next year. "Our objective for just after SOC1 is that we'll have demonstrated all the capabilities," says Airbus chief test pilot military Ed Strongman. "All the functionality on the aircraft will be there, but the full FMS and human/machine interface will come later." Ureña says this will give the air forces "the confidence that when they take the aircraft they can operate it".
....
Test pilots will soon perform a so-called "ultimate flight", during which the aircraft will be tricked into thinking that it has lost all onboard power by switching off one of its engines after isolating power generators to the other three, which will be run as normal throughout. June should also see water ingestion trials conducted at the French military's Istres test centre, plus maximum brake energy rejected take-offs.
...
By mid-May, 55 pilots had flown the A400M, with 12 of them drawn from a core team from Airbus and Airbus Military. Recent additions have included operational air force personnel from partner nations France, Germany, Turkey and the UK, with others from Spain and Malaysia to follow soon. "All of them are coming back with a smile on their face," says Strongman.


Program update presentation: An Update on the A400M Program | SLDInfo

Last edited by keesje; 16th Jun 2011 at 20:19.
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Old 16th Jun 2011, 13:21
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Whenever I see that guy's name, I imagine him checking into a hotel anywhere is Asia, and all the half-suppressed filthy giggles from the receptionists...
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Old 16th Jun 2011, 20:30
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New livery & camera to monitor ice forming..



High resolution photo via Flightglobal Airspace:

http://www.flightglobal.com/airspace...eglo-marks.jpg

.
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Old 19th Jul 2011, 14:02
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We have competition Airbus thought it was nice to have their own test A400M test flight page

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Old 19th Jul 2011, 20:32
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Prop configuration on A400

Judging from the curve of the prop blades (as shown from the close up photos in post 62), the rotation of props one & four would appear to be supra-convergent, which is what one would expect if the designers had the luxury of specifying the engine/gearbox/prop configuration.

But why do props two & three appear to be supra-divergent?

If the A400 had a conventional tail, I would guess that it could be to reduce drag from the horizontal tail surface. But with a high T-tail, what benefit does this give?
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Old 19th Jul 2011, 20:56
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It was to avoid asymmetric swirl affecting the airflow over the wing - as had been painfully experienced by another four-engine, six-blade-prop transport just before the A400M finished preliminary design.
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Old 19th Jul 2011, 21:21
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It was to avoid asymmetric swirl affecting the airflow over the wing - as had been painfully experienced by another four-engine, six-blade-prop transport just before the A400M finished preliminary design.
I don't understand that reply. If all four props were supra convergent (which is what one would ideally design into a multi-engine prop driven aircraft) there would be no asymetric airflow over the wing.
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Old 20th Jul 2011, 00:50
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He is talking about the C130J which had problems in this rea

regards

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Old 20th Jul 2011, 09:31
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Yes, I can see that the C130J would have asymmetric problems as all four props rotate clockwise - presumably it was too expensive to make props 3 & 4 rotate anticlockwise.

But if the designer has the luxury of choosing the direction of prop rotation on a multi, you generally make the props supra-convergent to minimise P-factor*

What I don't understand on the A400M is that 2 & 3 are supra divergent. I guess I'll have to ask on the Flight Test forum.





* Exceptions being multis designed as ground attack aircraft such as P-38 Lightning, Henschel 129 & OV-10A Bronco where supra divergent props gave greater stability as a gun platform.
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Old 20th Jul 2011, 10:31
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This page Technology has a diagram showing the 'engine rotation' ( I assume they mean propellor rotation) with a brief explanation. I thought I read some time ago that another advantage was that the airflow at the left and right paratroop doors was consistent.

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Old 20th Jul 2011, 14:11
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It is a complicated argument, which one day I'm going to get someone to sit with me long enough to go through, but meantime this will help a bit.
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Old 2nd Aug 2011, 15:27
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Potential hold-up

Over the week-end -end July - I saw a note in AvWeek to the effect that, while A400M flight testing is continuing, engines destined for later aircraft are having to be used on the test fleet while Avio tries to find out what's causing the problem with the gearboxes.
This, says the paper, could lead to delays, as the problem has already eaten up the advance that had been gained when things were going well ...

Pity ...
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Old 2nd Aug 2011, 15:57
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Still going pretty well actually. 18 flights on four aircraft last week.
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Old 2nd Aug 2011, 16:12
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That sounds pretty good, Algy. I've been trying to find news of the icing and other tests recently, but the world press, and certainly Airbus PA, seem to have gone on summer break where the A400M is concerned.

In any case, the rumours that that gear would be the most tricky part of new technology for the plane seem to be not so unfounded after all. It certainly must be the lightest gearbox of its class by far.

BTW, the other wild speculation I heard was that the freight handling system would make difficulties. How's that coming along?
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Old 3rd Aug 2011, 09:27
  #77 (permalink)  
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I don't think any manufacturer provides running commentaries on flight-test, for well-documented reasons. Been quiet lately just because the nature of the flying has been relatively routinely hitting the gzillion test points for certification, including civil certification of course. Gets more interesting in the autumn.
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Old 7th Sep 2011, 22:22
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Originally Posted by Algy View Post
Still going pretty well actually. 18 flights on four aircraft last week.
How's it all going at the mo as it's been a bit quiet in here for a few weeks
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 10:07
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AIRSHOW-New engine glitch hampers A400M Paris debut | Reuters

I know this goes back to Jun but there is a rumbling out there that says there is more to this than is being let on
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 16:21
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The current four flight-test aircraft have logged a combined 684 flights totalling just over 2100 hours by 4 September.

Flight test activities being conducted from Toulouse and Seville, are "progressing steadily", and involve sorties flown with crews from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Three aircraft are routinely available and are each flown up to twice per day, while a fourth is typically undergoing work to upgrade it to the latest equipment standard.

Currently the focus is on the completion of the handling qualities, performance and systems certification tests. It's hoped to secure civil type certification from EASA before the end of this year.

The programme's fifth and final development aircraft, MSN6, is expected to join the flight-test campaign in late 2011.
Seems to be going fine....
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