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TP400-D6 (for A400M) Completes First Test Flight  
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8883 posts, RR: 75
Posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 17621 times:

As rumored in the previous thread "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week" on a.net, Reuters is reporting that the TP400 completed its first test flight today on the C130 test frame.

Quote:
Airbus Military carried out a long awaited first test flight on Wednesday of the engine being developed for its delayed A400M military airlifter, an industry source involved in the project said.

from http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSLH14889020081217


We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8883 posts, RR: 75
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 17619 times:

Flight global article indicates the flight test was for 75 minutes

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...comes-airborne-for-first-time.html



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineR2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2589 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 17444 times:

An important milestone has been reached and this is definitely good news, but I fear we're still quite some time away from seeing four of these flying on the A400M. IMO there is quite a bit of PR to this event, after all the trouble the program has gone through it was necessary to send this positive message before the end of the year. But I think the engine problems are not solved yet, and will still need time to get fixed...

User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 17206 times:



Quoting R2rho (Reply 2):
An important milestone has been reached and this is definitely good news, but I fear we're still quite some time away from seeing four of these flying on the A400M. IMO there is quite a bit of PR to this event, after all the trouble the program has gone through it was necessary to send this positive message before the end of the year. But I think the engine problems are not solved yet, and will still need time to get fixed...

Your assessment may be correct, but there's something to be said for getting the engine into the air and operating it there. That's a significant step forward and, to my way of thinking, an expression of at least some confidence in it.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 17087 times:



Quoting R2rho (Reply 2):
An important milestone has been reached and this is definitely good news, but I fear we're still quite some time away from seeing four of these flying on the A400M.

If you read the Flight article you would find your fears are justified, as the next flight is not even scheduled until the second half of January.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 17062 times:

I agree this is an important milestone for the A-400M program. But, something about the way Airbus is doing this is strange, first the try to keep the TP-400-D6 first flight a secret, then they plan on taking more than a week to borescope the engine, and the next flight isn't for another 5 weeks?

At this rate, we won't see the A-400M first flight until Q3 or maybe even Q4.


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8883 posts, RR: 75
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 17032 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
But, something about the way Airbus is doing this is strange, first the try to keep the TP-400-D6 first flight a secret, then they plan on taking more than a week to borescope the engine, and the next flight isn't for another 5 weeks?

Airbus does not make the engine.

That is like saying Boeing keeping the tests for the GEnx-2B for the 747-8 a secret, in reality it is the engine manufacturer who is doing the tests, not the airframe manufacturer.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineFridgmus From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1442 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 16954 times:
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Any photographs of that flight around? I'd love to see that big mother in flight, especially on a C-130!


The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
User currently offlineBeaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 25
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 16933 times:

Issue is seemingly not the engine but the software that controls the engine.That piece of intelligence is being written by BAE-Systems ( FADEC 3 )and controls propeller pitch,motor control issues and integration of the motor into the flight-management software.
The A400M is much more complex to build than most modern fighter-jets.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUKTRE48O8EM20080925



Please respect animals - don't eat them...
User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4315 posts, RR: 28
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 16828 times:

Great news for the bird! A couple of observations:

1) Wouldn't the fact that this engine has finally been sent aloft indicate that progress has been made on the FADEC? Or is the engine being flown using an alternative control program?

2) The Flight article says the engine was flown on this first flight with not more thrust being used than the power produced by the other three engines on the C-130. It later said that the engine will be flown in subsequent tests at maximum power. Since it can produce over twice the amount of thrust as the C-130's standard power plants, that has to produce some serious asymmetrical thrust control issues.



I'm not a racist...I hate Biden, too.
User currently offlineOvercast From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 160 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 16773 times:



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 9):
2) The Flight article says the engine was flown on this first flight with not more thrust being used than the power produced by the other three engines on the C-130. It later said that the engine will be flown in subsequent tests at maximum power. Since it can produce over twice the amount of thrust as the C-130's standard power plants, that has to produce some serious asymmetrical thrust control issues.

Surely if they throttle back the Allison on the same side as the TP400, then the asymmetric thrust will be minimised?


User currently offlineTGIF From Sweden, joined Apr 2008, 276 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 16762 times:



Quoting Fridgmus (Reply 7):
Any photographs of that flight around? I'd love to see that big mother in flight, especially on a C-130!

I posted this in the secretive flight thread, but I belongs here
http://airbusmilitary.com/press.html

A sneak peak:


User currently offlineR2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2589 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 16607 times:

Fortunately, our local a.net photographers are a bit better than the Airbus press releases: Big grin

Check out that monster engine!


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Steve Hill



User currently offlineFridgmus From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1442 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 16559 times:
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They are both great photo's! Many thanks guys! bigthumbsup 

I'm wondering why the hell I didn't think to look at the Airbus Military website!



The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8883 posts, RR: 75
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 16517 times:



Quoting Fridgmus (Reply 13):

I'm wondering why the hell I didn't think to look at the Airbus Military website!

or the Flight Global article I linked in reply 1



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 16465 times:



Quoting Zeke (Reply 6):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
But, something about the way Airbus is doing this is strange, first the try to keep the TP-400-D6 first flight a secret, then they plan on taking more than a week to borescope the engine, and the next flight isn't for another 5 weeks?


Airbus does not make the engine.

You are correct, Airbus does not make the engine, it is built by RR, Safran, and MTU. But, as this story says, Airbus Military is responsible for conducting the flight tests of the engine.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUKTRE48O8EM20080925

It seems there appears to be a difference of opinions between Safran and Airbus Military as to who is responsible for the delays.

That is a lot different with the Boeing E-737 Wedgetail for the RAAF flight testing program. Boeing has not shifted blame for the extended delays to NG, who intergrates the AWACS systems. Boeing is accepting all the responsibilities for the delays.

Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 8):
The A400M is much more complex to build than most modern fighter-jets.

Ahhh, no, it is not. The A-400M is a simple cargo aircraft, not even as complicated as a modern airliner. Modern fighters are very complex machines.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13170 posts, RR: 77
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 16354 times:

I cannot think of any new military product that is 'simple'.
Granted, A400M is not as complex as a modern fighter, but it is still a highly complex machine, beyond the power-plant too.

Lest we forget, look what a totally crap job LM did with the C-130J, sure it flew in good time, shame about the literally years it took after 'deliverly' to actually be able to do the job.
For me, it's the unsung screw up of the past decade.
And that was a modernization, not an all new aircraft.
(Oh I forgot, it's not an aircraft that seems to annoy by it's very existence, some in the US! For reasons I cannot fathom).

Then look at the ARH programme, the RAH-66, a complex machine, massively late, then overtaken by events as the requirements changed, gets canceled.
So, a simple enough solution, basically modernize the aircraft RAH-66 was meant to replace, helped by the basic platform being already available in it's civil form.
And look what happened next? As they say on Top Gear , 'how hard can it be?'

[Edited 2008-12-21 01:31:12]

User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8883 posts, RR: 75
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 16292 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
But, as this story says, Airbus Military is responsible for conducting the flight tests of the engine.

If you look at the Marshall website, it says both parties. At the end of the day it is EPI that needs to certify their engine with the Ratier-Figeac propeller (Just like P&W would do for a PT-6), the Airbus contribution to the power plant is the nacelle and the interface with the prop.

Airbus IS responsible for the overall project management, so any delays are theirs. But they are not designing the engine or porp, it is well known the engine has had problems in previous ground tests and needed redesign which caused the initial delays, that happened well before the test bed looked like moving.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12360 posts, RR: 25
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 16214 times:



Quoting Zeke (Reply 17):
At the end of the day it is EPI that needs to certify their engine with the Ratier-Figeac propeller (Just like P&W would do for a PT-6), the Airbus contribution to the power plant is the nacelle and the interface with the prop.

I think we're splitting hairs here, but I think it's fair to say that Airbus is responsible for the aircraft side of the (both logical and physical) aircraft to engine interface. As such, it would not surprise me if Airbus took the lead position in determining which aircraft testbed would be used, who would modify it, etc, even though it's not their responsiblity to certify the engine/prop combination.

What was the question again?  Smile



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 19, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 16113 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 8):
The A400M is much more complex to build than most modern fighter-jets.

Ahhh, no, it is not. The A-400M is a simple cargo aircraft, not even as complicated as a modern airliner. Modern fighters are very complex machines.



Quoting GDB (Reply 16):
I cannot think of any new military product that is 'simple'.
Granted, A400M is not as complex as a modern fighter, but it is still a highly complex machine, beyond the power-plant too.

The A-400M is not as complex a machine as you would think. Modern airliners are much more complicated that this airplane is. True, it will have all the leading edge avionics, a modern cargo management system, and the like. But, both Airbus and Boeing already build airliners that have all that and more when you throw in things like elevators, entertainment systems, and highly complex engine and hydraulic systems.

Quoting GDB (Reply 16):
look what a totally crap job LM did with the C-130J, sure it flew in good time, shame about the literally years it took after 'deliverly' to actually be able to do the job.

The C-130J was a peice of crap, and every now and then someone builds a peice of crap, take the MD-11 for example. Now there is a modern day airplane failure to live up to performance expectations. But, the C-130J matured and out grew it's shortfalls, and now is entering service all over the world.

Quoting GDB (Reply 16):
For me, it's the unsung screw up of the past decade.

If the C-130J was the unsung failure of the last decade for you, than can I guess the A-400M is the current decade failure for you?

Quoting GDB (Reply 16):
And that was a modernization, not an all new aircraft.
(Oh I forgot, it's not an aircraft that seems to annoy by it's very existence, some in the US! For reasons I cannot fathom).

While I agree the C-130J is a modernization of the C-130H/K, it almost is a new airplane. There isn't much, as far as systems goes that were not totally redisigned. The new engines required new electrical, hydraulic, fuel, and flight control systems, that simply could not be transfered over from the C-130E/H/K models.

I might add that your RAF was one of the very first customers of the C-130J.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 17):
Airbus IS responsible for the overall project management, so any delays are theirs. But they are not designing the engine or porp, it is well known the engine has had problems in previous ground tests and needed redesign which caused the initial delays, that happened well before the test bed looked like moving.

Outside of the engine program delays, the way Airbus is talking, you would think the A-400M program is ahead of schedule, and under budget. That is far from the truth. Even without the engine delays the overall A-400M program is two years late and grossly over budget. EADS is going to have to eat that extra cost due to the way most of the current contracts with France Germany, UK, etc. are written. That is why EADS probibly won;'t sell many more than the currently ordered A-400Ms. No one will want to sign a contract for a higher price than France or Germany got as a unit fly away cost.

I am guessing here, but, I think EADS needs to sell another 150 A-400Ms at a new average price of $240M-$250M per airplane to break even on the over all program. That will make the $200M-$225M C-17A seem like a bargan. I believe they are contracted to build something like 192 airplanes now, all at the lower price.


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 16088 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
I might add that your RAF was one of the very first customers of the C-130J.

The RAF was the launch customer for the C-130J. The RAF bought the C-130J's as a commercial sales, unlike the majority of the foreign arms deals that go through the US military.


User currently offlineFridgmus From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1442 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 15929 times:
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Quoting Zeke (Reply 14):
or the Flight Global article I linked in reply 1

Like you've never had a case of "Brain Fade"??? banghead  Rub it in a little more Zeke! biggrin 



The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 15856 times:



Quoting Overcast (Reply 10):
Surely if they throttle back the Allison on the same side as the TP400, then the asymmetric thrust will be minimised?

If they put the engine next to the TP400 on idle, it should be able to put full power on the others.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
The A-400M is not as complex a machine as you would think. Modern airliners are much more complicated that this airplane is. True, it will have all the leading edge avionics, a modern cargo management system, and the like. But, both Airbus and Boeing already build airliners that have all that and more when you throw in things like elevators, entertainment systems, and highly complex engine and hydraulic systems.

The A400M has no 44.000 shp FADEC prop predecessor in the West. It is fly by wire, auto terrain following and designed for a broad array of operational missions (STOL, Tanker). It has a composites wing and integrated highly automated loading / off loading. IMO it qualifies as a Next Gen aircraft. Don't underestimate, this is not another truck.



http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/images/AIR_A400M_Cutaway_Numbered_lg.jpg



User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13170 posts, RR: 77
Reply 23, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 15763 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
If the C-130J was the unsung failure of the last decade for you, than can I guess the A-400M is the current decade failure for you?

Hence my use of 'unsung', since we can only really judge once it's in service.

The RAF did indeed buy C-130J's, it was, in the mid 1990's, the only way to start modernising a very heavily used transport fleet in the near term.
But, the A400M was also ordered, C-17's were leased (now brought), showing one glaring problem with the C-130J as a design. Though events since 2001 have greatly widened the use and requirements of C-17's, to be fair.
They should have widened the C-130J fuselage too, since, as you state, the 'J' was nearly a whole new aircraft anyway.

(I bet the Treasury had a fit at the idea of effectively replacing one type with three new ones).

The A400M issues to date, are apparent for all too see, I regard the years of waiting for completed C-130J's to be properly operational as much less known but pertinent.
All part of an impression often cited on here, that US companies deliver and European ones don't, as we've seen with the A380 and 787....oh wait!


User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 9981 posts, RR: 96
Reply 24, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 15529 times:
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Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
But, both Airbus and Boeing already build airliners that have all that and more when you throw in things like elevators, entertainment systems, and highly complex engine and hydraulic systems.

All that, and not a single mention of CFRP usage in the fuselage - I love it!
Reality bites at long last  bigthumbsup 

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
EADS is going to have to eat that extra cost due to the way most of the current contracts with France Germany, UK, etc. are written.

In truth, EADS have probably already provisioned for most of this, and thus "taken it on the chin"

Rgds


25 PADSpot : I was now away from this forum for about a year, but progress on this topic on a.net seems to be even less than that at Airbus. Still C130J vs. A400M
26 RedFlyer : Of course! Duh. But, hey, what do you expect from a weekend SEL flyer??? Go ahead and admit it: you missed it terribly!
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