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Airbus A400M

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Airbus A400M
Artist's impression of the A400M parked on landing strip
Artist's impression of the A400M parked on landing strip
Description
RoleMilitary transport
Crew2 pilots, optional 3rd, 1 loadmaster
First FlightExpected 2009
Entered ServiceUnder development
ManufacturerAirbus Military consortium
Dimensions
Length42.2 m138 ft 6 in
Wingspan42.4 m139 ft 1 in
Height14.7 m48 ft 3 in
Wing areaft²
Weights
Empty66,500 kg147,000 lb
Loaded114,000 kg251,000 lb
Maximum takeoff130,000 kg287,000 lb
Capacity37,000 kg (82,000 lb)
Powerplant
EnginesEuroProp International TP400-D6
Power (each)7,500 kW10,000 hp
Power (total)30,000 kW40,000 hp
Performance
Maximum speed550 km/h350 mph
Combat range
(max payload)
3100 km2,000 miles
Ferry range9,000 km5600 miles
Service ceiling11,300 m37,000 ft
Rate of climbft/minm/min
Wing loadinglb/ft²kg/m²
Power/Masshp/lbkW/kg
Avionics
Avionics

The Airbus A400M (M for military) is a four engine turboprop aircraft designed by Airbus Military to meet the demand of European nations for a new military cargo aircraft.

The initial requirement of the partner nations, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg was for 212 aircraft. Following the withdrawal of Italy and revision of procurement totals the revised requirement was for 180 aircraft, with first flight in 2009. On 28 April 2005, South Africa joined the partnership programme.

The Airbus A400M is set to replace primarily the C-130 Hercules which has been the primary cargo workhorse in the countries now planning this new aircraft.

When completed, the Airbus A400M will be Airbus' first purpose-built military aircraft. There is unlikely to be any further foray (in terms of specific aircraft development) into the military market by the airframe manufacturer.

The Airbus A400M will increase the airlift capacity and range compared to the aircraft it is set to replace. Cargo capacity is expected to double (both in payload and volume) and range is increased substantially as well. Just as Airbus' other aircraft, the A400M will have a full glass cockpit (all information accessed through large color screens) and fly-by-wire and as such will represent a technological leap compared to the old versions of the C-130 Hercules and Transall C-160 that many of the purchasing countries now operate.

The Airbus A400M will operate in many configurations including cargo transport, troop transport, medevac, aerial refueling and electronic surveillance.

Development

The political and financial delays with the A400M caused the Royal Air Force to start the Short Term Strategic Aircraft (STSA) programme which selected the C-17 as an interim measure to provide strategic airlift until the A400M entered service. Experience with the C-17 since it entered service lead to the RAF extending the original lease. On July 21 2004 Geoff Hoon announced that the RAF would buy their four C-17s at the end of the lease, even though the A400M is moving towards production. They also placed a follow-on order for one aircraft, though there may be additional purchases later, especially if the A400M does not live up to expectations in operational use.

On 9 December 2004, the South African Air Force announced it was to purchase between 8 and 14 A400Ms, with South Africa therefore joining the Airbus Military team as an industrial partner. Deliveries are expected from 2010 till 2014.

See also

External links


Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

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