Airbus Military is upbeat after a difficult six months in the life of its A400M, but will Europe's giant airlifter keep its flight schedule?
While Airbus's flagship A380 will dominate the skies at Le Bourget this year, the company's first dedicated military transport aircraft - the A400M - will be maintaining a much lower profile, as the project battles to avoid the development woes that have previously afflicted its commercial stablemate.
Launched in May 2003 with the signature of a 180-aircraft development and production contract by Europe's OCCAR procurement agency acting on behalf of seven partner nations, the A400M is publicly declared as being on track to achieve its first flight in the first quarter of 2008, albeit later than a previous goal of next January. But with the project's aggressive timescale leaving little room for error, Airbus Military is assessing the possible implications of two setbacks that have affected its development activities over the last six months.
DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11435 posts, RR: 81 Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3056 times:
This airplane is on track to be another Transall if they aren't careful. It's got real potential to be a very good tactical airlifter with some strategic implications (except that it's a bit big and costly to drop in the mud very often, and many operators will treat this as a strategic asset instead of a tactical one).
I'd like to see it in the air sooner rather than later as if it fails then the nations needing the lift will have very little room to turn other than asking Boeing to reopen the C-17 line or taking a huge chance on the AN-70X....
Keesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2935 times:
The H-130J´s probably won´t replace the large numbers of old Herc´s around, C-17 production will be ended soon & the A400s & C-27J´s will be circling around the Pentagon for future transport requirements to pop up.
Odd there will not be a US tactical transport build in US for the foreseable future but Lockheed selling improved versions of the 50 year old Hercules.
KrisYYZ From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1576 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 2639 times:
Is Airbus still pissed over the Canadian decision favouring the C-130J? I think DND has already made some sort of deal with Lockheed thereby excluding the A400M. Canada should have looked at a split order of C-130js and some A400M as the A400M could have been a great SAR/smaller tactical airlift aircraft for the forces.
KrisYYZ From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1576 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 2625 times:
Quoting PADSpot (Reply 7): Three types (C-17,C-130J and A400M) with maybe 30 frames in the fleet? I don't think you can communicate that very well ... would be a nice gesture though.
The A400M would have been a great asset to the CAF, but Canada needs new tactical airlift aircraft ASAP and Airbus couldn't meet the delivery schedule set by DND. Canada still may look at the A400M in the future as the current C130J proposal will only replace 15 or so out of the 32 C-130s Canada operates.
Dougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 2617 times:
Quoting KrisYYZ (Reply 8): he A400M would have been a great asset to the CAF, but Canada needs new tactical airlift aircraft ASAP and Airbus couldn't meet the delivery schedule set by DND. Canada still may look at the A400M in the future as the current C130J proposal will only replace 15 or so out of the 32 C-130s Canada operates.
Not if anyone at Pratt & Whitney Canada has anything to say about it.