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A400M Flight Testing Progress

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A400M Flight Testing Progress

Old 2nd May 2012, 20:21
  #161 (permalink)  

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I know all that, Ken - and I don't disagree.

But can't you find it in your heart to rejoice just a bit when two great big brand new beasts are actually, finally, there at Brize?

Even if one of them is only there for a day or two.

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Old 2nd May 2012, 20:36
  #162 (permalink)  
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Well according to FR24 F-WWZ (something) was heading in that direction today.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 14:55
  #163 (permalink)  
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Cottbus-Drewitz in Germany seems to be next for testing. 1500 meters of grass runway available.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 15:39
  #164 (permalink)  
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Its a real shame that the J didnt have active stress monitoring across all frames. We were hammering jets into strips very rarely in the Stan, despite landing on natural surfaces 4-5 times a day.

Crews very quickly seemed to realise that hammering the jet iaw the manual onto a rollered strip like bastion wasnt very sensible. People very quickly were using pretty standard landing techniques on a strip that was pretty flat and I daresay consumed far less fatigue index than the sortie profile gobbled up on the database.

I dont doubt the Block 16 CDS and 2 hours at low level on tac sorties hasnt helped, but I would be really interested to see the results of a NDT test programme on the outer wing boxes - I wonder if for once there would be a pleasant surprise.

Or, am I completely wrong and are the wings showing physical signs of cracking? I heard there were problems with flap hinges, but this is a completely seperate issue from the wing spar fatigue issues and down to our modus operandi.

Out of interest, is the 400 spar metal or composite?
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Old 3rd May 2012, 22:52
  #165 (permalink)  
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The A400m has composite skins stringers and spars with metallic ribs.
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Old 9th May 2012, 18:12
  #166 (permalink)  
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Voyager and Grizzly together

AAR - A400M gets up close and personal with Voyager tanker

By Craig Hoyle on May 9, 2012 12:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |ShareThis
An A400M has made its first "dry" air-to-air refuelling (AAR) contacts behind an Airbus Military A330 multi-role tanker/transport, with one of the company's "Grizzly" development aircraft having achieved the milestone last week.

Airbus Military, which supplied the image below, says 30 contacts were made with the hose basket trailing from the A330's Cobham-supplied fuselage refuelling unit. This is a unique configuration so far, having been implemented for the UK Royal Air Force's AirTanker-supplied "Voyager" fleet.

"The tests demonstrated the stability of both aircraft when flying in close formation and while refuelling," says Airbus Military. Previous work had been performed behind an RAF Vickers VC10 tanker flown out of Toulouse, France.

The fresh activity represents good news for the UK; the only A400M customer nation so far to also be buying the A330 as a tanker. The "Voyager" aircraft involved in the work has previously conducted "wet" refuelling trials with Royal Air Force combat aircraft, during which hose stability and fuel venting issues were encountered, as I wrote in a feature article late last month.

Fresh trials are expecetd to occur in the UK from later this month to assess whether both problems have been solved.

AAR - A400M gets up close and personal with Voyager tanker - The DEW Line
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Old 11th May 2012, 16:18
  #167 (permalink)  
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Engine trouble


A400M gets initial certification, as engine problem strands MSN4

apparently they have replaced one pre-production engine of MSN6 with one of the first four production engines. How is this going to work out? Will they just use the next four engines for MSN7?

Has Airbus Military released any information on the MSN4 engine failure so far? They're not really running out of serviceable engines, are they?

Let's hope it is not the HPC again.

Last edited by theturbofantastic; 11th May 2012 at 16:19.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 16:36
  #168 (permalink)  
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This week soft runways trails will start in Cottbus, Germany, with Grizzly 2.

Grizzly 2 heads for unpaved runway trials - The DEW Line

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Old 23rd May 2012, 09:02
  #169 (permalink)  
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Not uncommon with prop ac. Checking my songbook, I managed to shut down 3 engines in 6 months on the J when the response to an eng vibration changed.

Sounds as if the oman shutdown was more electric wiggle if they don't know what caused it...
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Old 23rd May 2012, 09:15
  #170 (permalink)  
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from your earlier:

hammering the jet
Jet? Really?
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Old 23rd May 2012, 13:04
  #171 (permalink)  
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Jet = colloquial expression, common amongst air forces, to describe an aircraft.

The props are driven by gas turbines so not strictly inaccurate. No ones calls it a 'prop'.
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Old 24th May 2012, 14:54
  #172 (permalink)  
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Not much to do with flight testing just fun/PR I guess..


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Old 24th May 2012, 15:16
  #173 (permalink)  
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and .. first shots of A400M driving around the German countryside..

I think specially the high energy stops are crusial (~4:50). A lot of effort went into not damaging soft strip for continued opeartions..

Last edited by keesje; 24th May 2012 at 15:59.
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Old 24th May 2012, 16:26
  #174 (permalink)  
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Looks great keesje!
What's with the reports they had to interrupt testing that same day, and fly home? Did they taxi over the airfield manager's flowerbed, or was it something serious?

[Edited: Even more serious...]

Last edited by Rengineer; 24th May 2012 at 16:28.
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Old 28th May 2012, 23:53
  #175 (permalink)  
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Renginee, it seems the left mainwheels chewed into the grass during the max energy stop.

"The left-hand main wheels went through the upper surface of the runway at the end of a maximum braked rejected take-off exercise,"

Soft ground cuts short A400M landing trials
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Old 29th May 2012, 07:35
  #176 (permalink)  
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I hope after our afghan experience they are planning to see the effect of stony strips on the aircraft.
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Old 29th May 2012, 19:54
  #177 (permalink)  
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Gravel strips are on the test plan!
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Old 5th Jun 2012, 16:24
  #178 (permalink)  
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The Oman shutdown of a flight test engine was due to a failure of the propeller gearbox (again...). The engine is currently scheduled for maintenance.
The production engine has been disassembled for further examination in order to determine the source(s) of excess vibration.
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Old 7th Jun 2012, 22:38
  #179 (permalink)  
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Great to see a very impressive and very noisy stream of 5 of the beasts heading south out of Blagnac this lunchtime....
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Old 7th Jun 2012, 23:18
  #180 (permalink)  
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Yes, I saw a nice photo earlier this evening of all 5 together!

The gearbox incident was an indication / false alert, wasn't it?

Looking forward to seeing the aircraft at Farnborough!
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