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A400M Flight Testing Progress

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A400M Flight Testing Progress

Old 28th Jan 2012, 08:31
  #141 (permalink)  

Champagne anyone...?
 
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The "plan" (a ho ho ho) is that the J will live on until about 2022 with the Mk5s and the last few Ks going when the A400 eventually appears. The J fleet is however colossally f**ked and has been for a while. I get the impression that despite the best efforts of those involved with it on a daily basis AIR and the MoD are rather hoping it will just limp on quietly, with minimum investment, until the A400 arrives and "saves the day".

Without wishing to get all parochial and "Changi slip" about it i still think there will be ongoing niche roles for which the A400 will be unsuitable and for which the retention of a small fleet of C130s would be the sensible course of action. I say that not as a dyed-in-the-wool Herc person but as someone who had, until recently, been rather hoping to get onto the A400 Initial Cadre.
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 09:43
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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There is some tight ground maneuvering required for the J on some Afghan strips, how will the A400 cope?
Surely we will be out of Afgh by the time A400 arrives in service.
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 17:54
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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That's fine if you think Afg is the last place we'll have to operate transports into. As usual, we need to be prepared as much for the future we can't predict as the one we think we can.
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 17:54
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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I fervently hope so.
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 20:01
  #145 (permalink)  
 
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Bismark,

I guess the point I was making is that it would be better to have a mix in aircraft size. The Herc is already too big for some jobs, the A400 will exacerbate that problem. Can you imagine moving 2 land cruisers and 8 men with something the size of the A400?

Im sure it will be an excellent aircraft but I think having that size aircraft as the smallest in the fleet will be too much of a compromise.
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Old 29th Jan 2012, 08:44
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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C17 on dirt

Don't think 20 seconds from touchdown to taxy speed with the C17 is too bad in those conditions. Could have held reverse in longer and sucked lots of dirt in I guess. I think around 3000' minimum runway length required, but that would be on a sealed runway I guess.
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 07:27
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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Without wishing to get all parochial and "Changi slip" about it i still think there will be ongoing niche roles for which the A400 will be unsuitable and for which the retention of a small fleet of C130s would be the sensible course of action.
I have to agree with Stopstart on that one. I can't imagine an A400 getting into somewhere like Al Amarah, Monserrat or Andros, to name a few of the smaller places I've been in a C130. You might say that there's no longer a requirement to land at said type of place but it still would amount to a loss of capability & who knows what the future holds? Certainly not any of the planning staffs.
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 08:15
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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According to Flight Global, the C130J is not set to retire until 2030.. Although it does state:

Combined with having made regular rough field landings, also during the UK's involvement in Iraq, the type, although younger than 15 years old, is already showing worrying signs of premature ageing.

A report published by the UK National Audit Office in June 2008 warned that the effects of deployed operations were so severe that wing replacement work could be required on some of the RAF's C-130Js from 2012
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 10:12
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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I think you're referring to a pretty old Flightglobal article, Giblets. The J's retirement date was brought forward as part of SDSR, which was about 16 months ago. I'm not sure the plan to see them all gone by 2022 is realistic, given the delayed A400M programme, but the fleet has taken a battering, so who knows?!
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 18:54
  #150 (permalink)  
 
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I have to agree with Stopstart on that one. I can't imagine an A400 getting into somewhere like Al Amarah, Monserrat or Andros, to name a few of the smaller places I've been in a C130. You might say that there's no longer a requirement to land at said type of place but it still would amount to a loss of capability & who knows what the future holds? Certainly not any of the planning staffs.
From what aspect do you think A400M won't get in to those places?

a) CBR?
b) Runway length?
c) Turning space?

Not sure about the last point, but for a given payload, would the first 2 issues be worse on an A400M than on a C130J?
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 19:22
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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A400 will certainly be able to do all of those ken!
CBR is better than the j as more wheels.
It's performance will be damn close to the j but will be able to carry 85% of the army's inventory as opposed to the hercs 50% and will fit a FRES.
Cant see the J past 2022 but then again we won't see the k past 2012........
It's just too damn costly to keep both support contracts up.
Be nice to have a fleet of C27, C130J , A400M and C17 but sadly the bean counters wouldn't like it!!!
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 22:06
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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Comments were based purely on size, those places were a squeeze for a C130 so it's hard to see how something the size of the A400 will fit.

As I said you might not need or choose to go to those places but not being able to is a loss of capability. Stoppers was I believe referring to the A400 being too large for some of the SF taskings.
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Old 31st Jan 2012, 10:50
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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In the early days of the A400M project a colleague looking through the aircraft specification saw the CBR requirement and said "I see the Germans still want to operate during the thaw on the Eastern Front".
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Old 14th Feb 2012, 09:39
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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It's been rather quiet on here. What's with the civil type certification, wasn't that supposed to be achieved some weeks ago? I remember Ed Strongman saying something in an interview like they only needed to complete natural-icing test or so, can't have been that hard in the recent wheather?
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Old 2nd May 2012, 07:52
  #155 (permalink)  
 
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A major milestone: On April 30th EASA issued the Restricted Type Certificate (RTC) for the A400M.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 08:02
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by flugholm View Post
A major milestone: On April 30th EASA issued the Restricted Type Certificate (RTC) for the A400M.
Marvellous, any update on when we might actually get them
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Old 2nd May 2012, 08:06
  #157 (permalink)  

 
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A little bird in blue told me this morning that the Grizzly (sorry, the Atlas) is pitching up at a secret Oxfordshire air base today for a couple of days testing.

And, blow me down, when I used my secret channels of communication to speak to said base, they admitted as much.

airsound

Last edited by airsound; 2nd May 2012 at 08:06. Reason: spellin
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Old 2nd May 2012, 13:25
  #158 (permalink)  
 
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A little bird in blue told me this morning that the Grizzly (sorry, the Atlas) is pitching up at a secret Oxfordshire air base today for a couple of days testing.
Did the little bird mention that the ac is currently u/s and so might not be there on time?

It should fit in just perfectly with the other types at EGVN!
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Old 2nd May 2012, 18:27
  #159 (permalink)  

 
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I'm told it did arrive at lunchtime today Wednesday - maybe a good sign for future schedules, Ken?

Apparently due to depart Saturday.

Regardless of all the negatives - cost, delays and the rest - I'm inclined to think that having this and the other big beast at Brize is rather encouraging.

Or is that just na´ve?

airsound
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Old 2nd May 2012, 19:02
  #160 (permalink)  
 
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Or is that just na´ve?
The A400 was originally intended to replace the Ks so the early withdrawal of the C130Js as well is a massive loss of capability principally as a result of running the fleet into the ground on Ops whilst failing to properly invest in its support facilities - lack of spares, engineers etc.

The C130 (both types) has been integral to every RAF operation for decades and the RAF will regret its departure, whatever the lift capacity of the 2 remaining types - they can only be in so may places at once - 50 odd ac replaced by 22.
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