Lumberton
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"Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:29 pm

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.

http://www.forbes.com/reuters/feeds/...RTRIDST_0_EADS-A400M-ANALYSIS.html

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.
POLITICAL FALLOUT
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
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:18 am



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*

Cheers


* or the surviving AN-70 prototype but that might be a sore point with some!
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fridgmus
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:17 am

Saw a picture with the A-400 engine on a C-130 once. Absolutely dwarfed the Herc. Looked pretty cool though. Hope it works out. Would love to see an A-400 in USAF livery!

Sorry, I don't have the picture. Can't seem to find it! Wish I did!
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Stealthz
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:18 am



Quoting Fridgmus (Reply 2):
Sorry, I don't have the picture.

Here you go....

http://www.airbusmilitary.com/images/1stftbrun.jpg
Courtesy www.airbusmilitary.com

Cheers
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
 
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Francoflier
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:27 am

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.
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baroque
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:22 pm

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.
 
keesje
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:16 pm



Quoting StealthZ (Reply 1):
Perhaps the logical, if not politically acceptable, test bed would have been an AN-22*

If tested on an A340 it should have been placed ahead of the wing iso under it. They tested the big A380 RR trents also on the A340..

Agree howver the most suitable test platform would have been the Antei.



I would have been better dimensioned for the vibrations, hot outlet and other dynamics.

Structural mods would be required for the TP400s torque.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Devilfish
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:34 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 6):
Agree howver the most suitable test platform would have been the Antei.

I kind of thought the Antonov An-70 would be a better fit.....

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Oleg V. Belyakov
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Oleg V. Belyakov


.....but could that present more software glitches?
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Francoflier
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:04 am



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...
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fridgmus
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:11 am



Quoting StealthZ (Reply 3):
Here you go....

Thanks SteathZ!  bigthumbsup  Does that look cool or what!!!
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kc135topboom
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:46 am

Nothing wrong with using the C-130 flight tests. But, there is something wrong with trying to hide the tests from the public. Makes you think they are afraid of something and have something to hide.
 
Lumberton
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:12 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):
Makes you think they are afraid of something and have something to hide.

Only if it fails....
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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Francoflier
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:22 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):
Makes you think they are afraid of something and have something to hide.

They hardly need any more bad publicity, especially seeing how badly speculative those things get, affecting even marketshares.

That said, it is true that they don't exhale of confidence over there...
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
keesje
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:44 pm

Well the Herc with TP400 has flown today. Hopefully moving the program forward again..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
TGIF
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:58 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 13):
Well the Herc with TP400 has flown today. Hopefully moving the program forward again..

 checkmark 
There's some info and nice pictures here: http://www.airbusmilitary.com/press.html
 
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zeke
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:00 pm



Quoting TGIF (Reply 14):

And another thread started on it ....http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/military/read.main/100644/
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
TGIF
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:18 pm



Quoting Zeke (Reply 15):

Sorry, typing before thinking... Thanks for the heads up!
 
Beaucaire
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:44 pm



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...

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 
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.
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keesje
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:58 pm



Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 17):
Lets face it and give the Russian engineers some credit

I never denied the skills / creativity of Russian / Oekraienian engineers. These days they are spread out over several industries and countries. The best got jobs at Boeing and Airbus too.

Fact is the An-70 itself is still a prototype. 2 crashed. The engines of the An-70 would probably not be a solution but probably a new complication.

For TP400 testing it the An-70 would be an unlikely platform. Antie: there are more and I guess available via Antonov.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Alessandro
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:07 pm

An-70 is a deadbeat and jobprotection of the Airbus owners countries are important.
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Bongodog1964
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RE: "Secretive" Flight Test For A400 Engine Next Week

Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:32 pm

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.

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