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A400M woes

Old 11th Jul 2019, 12:30
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A400M woes

Sigh... they even include a picture of a Tristar at Brize in the article, still the flying demo of the ermmmmm "Backflip loops" isn't bad.

In Parliament this week Mark Francois, a former Defence Minister, said: “We have paid £2.6 billion for an aircraft with appalling reliability, bad engines, a virtually broken gearbox, problem propellers, massive vibration problems and an inability to deliver paratroops.”
I assume that's why Tom Cruise hung onto the arse end as they couldn't drop him

Concerns have been raised over the new aircraft since its inception in 2003. A recent Defence Select Committee was told that engineering staff at RAF Brize Norton called the aircraft “a dog” and that on occasion only two out of the fleet of 20 aircraft were serviceable.
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknew...und/ar-AAE8ENt
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 13:55
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A400M answer>>>re engine with some big turbofans and you'll have a great reliable [maybe] flying machine. Boeing has a few new donks lying around it seems and voila, problem solved!
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 14:06
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Well, for an aircraft with such abysmal problems they sure as hell drone over Cornwall at FL300 or higher two or three times most days.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 15:01
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Originally Posted by Martin the Martian View Post
Well, for an aircraft with such abysmal problems they sure as hell drone over Cornwall at FL300 or higher two or three times most days.
Is that what it is?
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 17:30
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Originally Posted by TBM-Legend View Post
A400M answer>>>re engine with some big turbofans and you'll have a great reliable [maybe] flying machine. Boeing has a few new donks lying around it seems and voila, problem solved!
From memory FLA as it was was originally planned to be turbofan powered, but that was changed during the design horse trading
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 18:10
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Originally Posted by Davef68 View Post
From memory FLA as it was was originally planned to be turbofan powered, but that was changed during the design horse trading
it was actually during the pre-design phase, the Feasibility Studies, when a turbofan was one option amongst about 5. It should also be remembered that Airbus never wanted the EuroProp engine. The original winner of the contract was a P&W development but this was then vetoed by, you’ve guessed it, the President of France.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 18:27
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Here’s an article from today’s Daily Telegraph EFENCE

Row over engine problems in air force’s £2.6bn transporter fleet

By Dominic NichollsA ROW erupted at a Nato conference over the RAF’s new £2.6  billion transporter planes after it emerged that engine problems meant that on occasion just two of 20-strong fleet were able to fly at any one time.

The delay in bringing into service the new A400M plane for the RAF and other partner nations led to a major disagreement between Airbus, the manufacturer, and Nato ministers.Stuart Andrew, the minister for 
defence procurement, said that after an “extremely robust meeting” the problems with the A400M aircraft should be fixed by next year.Concerns were raised over the new aircraft after its inception in 2003. A *recent defence select committee was told that engineering staff at RAF Brize Norton called the aircraft “a dog” and that on occasion only two out of the fleet of 20 aircraft were serviceable.

In 2015, an A400M crashed in Spain during a test flight, killing four crew. A software fault, since rectified, was found to be the cause.

In Parliament this week Mark *Francois, a former defence minister, said: “We have paid £2.6 billion for an *aircraft with appalling reliability, bad engines, a virtually broken gearbox, problem propellers, massive vibration problems and an inability to deliver paratroops.”

He asked what could be done about the “emerging procurement disaster”.Mr Andrew replied: “The performance has been totally unacceptable. We are now expecting EuroProp 
International, the engine manufacturer, to be more empowered to negotiate the support solutions that we need. Airbus Defence and Space has also been held to account, but, following the problems with the engines and gear boxes, those parts will be replaced on each of the aircraft by the middle of next year.”The Ministry of Defence confirmed that there would be no additional cost to the taxpayer and that all reliability improvements would be funded by industry. The RAF version of the A400M – called Atlas – is due to replace the 
current fleet of C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft.This is said to be far more capable and versatile than the ageing Hercules as it is fitted with propellers rather than jet engines and can operate from dirt strips and unprepared runways.

Britain has bought 22 of the aircraft, with 20 delivered so far.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 18:42
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"The RAF version of the A400M – called Atlas – is due to replace the 
current fleet of C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft.This is said to be far more capable and versatile than the ageing Hercules as it is fitted with propellers rather than jet engines and can operate from dirt strips and unprepared runways."
.Stuart Andrew, the Minister for Defence
No Comment.
I was around in U.K. Industry early 1980's discussions in the days of the FLA when the UDF V Turbofan debate was ongoing. Just listening to the appalling discordant row generated by the UDF MD 80 demonstrator at Farnborough gave me an alarm call.

Last edited by Haraka; 11th Jul 2019 at 18:55.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 21:13
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In 2015, an A400M crashed in Spain during a test flight, killing four crew. A software fault, since rectified, was found to be the cause.
Although no report was ever released (which I still find despicable) it was much more a case of criminal negligence than anything else. Blaming it on a software error is extremely disingenuous.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 22:03
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Belfast Mk 2? Have we been here before?
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 22:08
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The intranet where I work recently had an article stating that a new contract had been worked out between Airbus and the customer and that everyone was happy (or at least equally upset with the compromises)? Overly positive spin for internal staff??? Nooo.....
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 22:12
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Originally Posted by atakacs View Post


Although no report was ever released (which I still find despicable) it was much more a case of criminal negligence than anything else. Blaming it on a software error is extremely disingenuous.
Not entirely - if the reports I've heard are reasonably accurate they failed to load needed calibration tables prior to first flight - which is a serious Quality Assurance miss. However, flight critical FADEC software should have provided protection for that - either a default that's 'close enough ' to get you back safely, or simply prevent engine start and put up an appropriate message. Failure to provide adequate protection could be considered a 'software error'. Since the engine company is responsible for the FADEC s/w, that's a pretty big miss on Rolls behalf as well as the QA people at Airbus who missed getting the proper calibrations loaded.
I do agree that no report is horrible. In the immediate aftermath, we got several queries from operators wanting to know if that same scenario could possibly occur on one of their Boeing aircraft. I had to draft up a response that basically said we couldn't definitively answer the question since there was no official information regarding the cause, however the scenario that was being reported in the media was protected against with default schedules and by setting a no-dispatch ENG CONTROL message on EICAS.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 23:01
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This is said to be far more capable and versatile than the ageing Hercules as it is fitted with propellers rather than jet engines and can operate from dirt strips and unprepared runways.
err , yes . just like the senior correspondent on Sky today informing us that all the clothes we wear coming from Asia passes through the Straits of Hormuz en route to Europe . I'm sure these chaps get a fairly decent wage , so one would assume a little basic research would be in order .
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Old 13th Nov 2019, 21:49
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Reading an article on spiegel.de, it seems the Luftwaffe has been having problems with some of the screws within the prop assembly.

https://www.spiegel.de/politik/deuts...a-1296189.html
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