No room for mistakes with the Airbus A400M
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.
Definately worth the read.