Lumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 21 Posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 8018 times:
According to this article from Forbes. If correct, why all the drama? Nothing to lose now by testing it "in the open" and inviting the press. If the wraps are off this "secret" flight test, then the results will likely find their way to the media as well.
Quote: PARIS, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Europe's biggest military plane project, fraught with delays and in-fighting, faces a critical test as the A400M's mammoth turbo prop engine prepares for a secretive flight next week from a quiet corner of east England.
Coming on the heels of UK defence cuts, the operation is key for the credibility of Airbus parent EADS as it tries to renegotiate a loss-making 20 billion euro contract for the A400M and project itself as a reliable global defence supplier.
The West's biggest turbo prop was developed by a group of engine makers assembled to keep high-tech jobs inside Europe, overriding the planemaker's preference for an imported engine.
Quote: The engine tests are being kept under wraps following months of tensions over delivery delays between Airbus Military, its engine makers and some of the seven European NATO nations behind the 25-year-old project to build a new heavy transporter.
But industry sources say the plane being used for the test, a modified C-130 transporter, should make its first flight with a Europrop TP400-D6 engine next week depending on the weather.
The test will be carried out by replacing one of the C-130's own engines with the larger new engine and taking it aloft.
EADS and Airbus Military declined to comment.
Quote: Even the choice of plane used for testing has been criticised after part of the C-130 melted in ground tests.
"It is way too small. They should have used an A340," a senior industry official said, referring to the large Airbus jet.
Industry analysts said the disputes had shown the limits of of treating big military contracts like commercial jet deals.
In a bid to develop Europe's own capacity for dropping troops into combat zones without repeating the cost overruns, delays and compromise surrounding the Eurofighter; A400M nations enforced a commercial contract with penalties for late delivery.
But EADS says its efforts to absorb risk were stymied by a political decision to involve all of Europe's key engine makers. It had wanted an engine from Pratt & Whitney Canada.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
StealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5448 posts, RR: 48 Reply 1, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 7874 times:
Quoting Lumberton (Thread starter): "It is way too small. They should have used an A340," a senior industry official said
Now that would be an interesting engineering challenge.. with a diameter approximately twice that of the Trent 500 on the A346... keen to see how they might handle that(Keesje care to use your CAD skills and gice us an idea?).
Perhaps the logical, if not politically acceptable, test bed would have been an AN-22*
* or the surviving AN-70 prototype but that might be a sore point with some!
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
Francoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3250 posts, RR: 10 Reply 4, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 7515 times:
With so much pressure, tensions and accumulated delays for the first flight of this engine, it's no wonder the engine makers are trying to keep it as quiet and discrete as possible.
I don't want to reopen that same old debate, but as a citizen from one of the countries involved in the program, it is just an outrage that politicians keep having their say on who is going to do what on a military program despite the differing manufacturers' expert opinion, and then on top of that demand guarantees of performance and on time delivery.
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
Baroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 60 Reply 5, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 7418 times:
I wonder how secret a test of a 12 k hp engine in the east of England can be. It will probably be audible from one side of it to the other. Much like when it was overflown by B-36s. Just a question of how much the ground will shake.
Francoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3250 posts, RR: 10 Reply 8, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 7103 times:
Quoting Keesje (Reply 6): the most suitable test platform would have been the Antei.
Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 7): I kind of thought the Antonov An-70 would be a better fit.....
Either of those would have been great. But getting a hand on one of these for testing purposes might be close to impossible...
The few An-70 still flying (only one?) are/is in the hands of Antonov who is not about to lend it to a direct competitor of the very same aircraft.
The An-22 are all flying for the Russian AF I believe, and current tensions between Russia and the NATO might not create ideal conditions for them to lease out an Antei for the benefit of a 'western' military program.
And although that's an even longer stretch, I really wish EADS would have teamed up with Antonov for the A400...
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
Beaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 26 Reply 17, posted (4 years 6 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 6208 times:
Quoting Francoflier (Reply 8): And although that's an even longer stretch, I really wish EADS would have teamed up with Antonov for the A400...
Could not agree more !
Actually the initial plan of the Germans was to team up with Antonov and make a joint development ,but as usual , the big European consensus-machinery took over and brought all kinds of "logical "partners into the A400M project. It would have been cheaper and much more efficient to swallow Euro-pride and get things done properly with Antonov.
I don't say the AN-70 in it's actual conception is ideal-but it would have been a much more appropriate testbed for further enhancements. Lets face it and give the Russian engineers some credit..it would have been a terrific plane,combining EADS and Antonov skills into one project.
Bongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3045 posts, RR: 2 Reply 20, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5613 times:
How could you carry out a "secretive test flight" from Cambridge Airport ?
Any plane taking off lines up on the runway but a few yards from a main road, in full view of the cars driving past; all there is in the way is a wire chain link fence; after take off the flight path is right over the city.
The only way in which this flight could be considered "secretive" would be if the media wasn't invited along for a free buffet.