kmz
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A400M Flight Test Program

Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:12 pm

Hi,

maybe I have missed something. But wasn't the A400M flight test program supposed to start a couple of days after first flight? Have there been flights since then?
Thanks for some Info!

kmz
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:49 pm

I think this is discussed in other threads, but here it is.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...0Airborne%20At%20Last&channel=awst

I believe a second flight by MS-001 has already taken place. the flight test program is going to take 3 years.
 
kmz
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:55 pm

thanks for the info. the article says "A further couple of flights are targeted before the Christmas break, with a second flight slated for as early as Dec. 19 or 21. The second flight will clear the aircraft likely up to 30,000 ft."
Maybe there have been follow-on flights, but I find it strange that I haven't been able to find any Information (including plane-spotter-pics) on them. Especially the next flights should be interesting as they will show if everything runs smooth or where problems have to be solved.

well, i guess time will show
 yawn 
 
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Revelation
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:00 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...=awst

The article says Aircraft MSN001, 003 and 006 will be based at Toulouse; MSN002 and 004 will be at Seville. so there should be plenty of spotting opportunities.
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
overcast
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:30 pm

Here you go, this just in on FI
Looks like good progress so far, next flight in January.

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...envelope-on-2nd-flight-airbus.html
 
keesje
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:01 pm

I think a three year flight test progrm looks very long compared to commercial aircraft. But if one releases the flight tests include;

- basic flight operations for an entirely new aircraft (props, fbw, etc)
- militairy + civil operations certification
- tactical operations from dirt, short hot runways
- refuelling, receiving, helicopters & fast jets
- low attitude automatic flight
- operations under extreme environmetal conditions
- airdrops of freight, paratroops

it doesn't seem so out of range.

http://www.key.aero/central/images/news/1329.jpg
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kc135topboom
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:23 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 5):
I think a three year flight test progrm looks very long compared to commercial aircraft. But if one releases the flight tests include;

- basic flight operations for an entirely new aircraft (props, fbw, etc)
- militairy + civil operations certification
- tactical operations from dirt, short hot runways
- refuelling, receiving, helicopters & fast jets
- low attitude automatic flight
- operations under extreme environmetal conditions
- airdrops of freight, paratroops

it doesn't seem so out of range.

The C-17 did all of that, too (except the civilian certification) and its USAF flight test program began in Sept 1991 (1 year late) and ended in Apr 1993 with the delivery of the first operational aircraft to Charleston AFB, SC. That is a flight test program of just 20 months.
 
evomutant
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:28 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):

The C-17 did all of that, too (except the civilian certification) and its USAF flight test program began in Sept 1991 (1 year late) and ended in Apr 1993 with the delivery of the first operational aircraft to Charleston AFB, SC. That is a flight test program of just 20 months.

Well the civil parts are amongst the stringent. The 787 will take, what, a year? Add a year onto 20 months and you have something approximating what the the A400M will take.
 
Jalap
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:53 am

How many planes will be involved in the flight test program and when is the 2nd due to take the skies?
 
keesje
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:09 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
The C-17 did all of that, too (except the civilian certification)

Well, no.

I will look up the C-17 milestones.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
kmz
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:05 pm

could it not make sense to split the certification process into batches, lets' say military certification before civilian certification? this could give them the chance to start production earlier and deliver a/c to their customers,no? they can at least use the first ac/c for training...
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:11 pm

Quoting Evomutant (Reply 7):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):

The C-17 did all of that, too (except the civilian certification) and its USAF flight test program began in Sept 1991 (1 year late) and ended in Apr 1993 with the delivery of the first operational aircraft to Charleston AFB, SC. That is a flight test program of just 20 months.

Well the civil parts are amongst the stringent. The 787 will take, what, a year? Add a year onto 20 months and you have something approximating what the the A400M will take.

No the B-787 flight certification testing is scheduled to run from this month to October 2010, a total of 10 months. Also many of the civilian certs the A-400M will get will be also duplicated by some of the mil.certs. In other words, there will be some test that kill two birds with one stone, and some will have to be flown seperately.

BTW, the entire A-400M flight test program, for all certifications is scheduled to have about 1200 flying hours, compared to 3200 flying hours for the B-787.

[Edited 2009-12-24 07:13:16]
 
overcast
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:37 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 11):
BTW, the entire A-400M flight test program, for all certifications is scheduled to have about 1200 flying hours, compared to 3200 flying hours for the B-787

Not quite true, 1200Hrs is for MSN1.
Total is over 4300Hrs for 5 test aircraft, Somewhat more than the B787.

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...a400ms-debut-flight-test-plan.html
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:13 pm



Quoting Overcast (Reply 12):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 11):
BTW, the entire A-400M flight test program, for all certifications is scheduled to have about 1200 flying hours, compared to 3200 flying hours for the B-787

Not quite true, 1200Hrs is for MSN1.
Total is over 4300Hrs for 5 test aircraft, Somewhat more than the B787.

That would make more sense. I had read it was only 1200 hours, and I didn't think that was near enough time. But 4700-4800 hours makes much more sense.

Do you know where the cold weather testing will take place? Somehow I think Canada and Alaska are ruled out.
 
keesje
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:02 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 13):
Do you know where the cold weather testing will take place? Somehow I think Canada and Alaska are ruled out.

Why is that KC135TopBoom? The A380 went very well.

http://www.flightglobal.com/assets/getAsset.aspx?ItemID=11460
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
CTR
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:03 pm

I would wager the A400M never gets civil certification. There is little added value in attaining it for a military transport aircraft. Plus if your program is over budget and you are looking for places to cut...

I would also bet that in the rush to get back on schedule much of the software documentation and testing procedures were shortcutted. Nothing unsafe, but not adequate to satisfy certification authorities.

Have fun,

CTR
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keesje
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:13 pm



Quoting Ctr (Reply 15):
I would wager the A400M never gets civil certification. There is little added value in attaining it for a military transport aircraft. Plus if your program is over budget and you are looking for places to cut...

The reason for civil certification is militairy transport using civil airways. Together with its M0.72 speed / ceiling it will be able to use those, contrary to the Hercs /Transalls now in use. A huge operational advantage.

Quoting Ctr (Reply 15):
I would also bet that in the rush to get back on schedule much of the software documentation and testing procedures were shortcutted. Nothing unsafe, but not adequate to satisfy certification authorities.

The delay was caused mainly to restore civil software certification. The engine itself was running fine. It shows how important this civil certification is..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:20 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 14):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 13):
Do you know where the cold weather testing will take place? Somehow I think Canada and Alaska are ruled out.

Why is that KC135TopBoom? The A380 went very well.

Because neither Canada nor the US are going to order the A-400M. My guess is cold weather testing will take place in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, or Finland.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 16):
Quoting Ctr (Reply 15):
I would wager the A400M never gets civil certification. There is little added value in attaining it for a military transport aircraft. Plus if your program is over budget and you are looking for places to cut...

The reason for civil certification is militairy transport using civil airways. Together with its M0.72 speed / ceiling it will be able to use those, contrary to the Hercs /Transalls now in use. A huge operational advantage.

First, airways are not the shortest or most direct routes, great circle navigation is. Second, military aircraft do not need a civil certification to use airways. Airspeed and ceiling restrictions because of type are not limitations to a civil certification, and finally, a version of the C-130, the L-100, already has a civilian certification.

Using airways is not a huge operational advantage, as you say. It is limited by the VORTACs the aircraft will fly. Airways have very little tactical or strategic value because they depend on ground based nav-aids. R-NAV or GPS NAV are much shorter and faster routes..

Quoting Keesje (Reply 16):
The delay was caused mainly to restore civil software certification. The engine itself was running fine. It shows how important this civil certification is..

It is still a cost that can be cut from the program that has not been spent, yet. They can always go back and get the certification later, if really needed. All a civilian certification gets you is the ability to use civilian parts, maintenance, and possible future sales to civilian airlines.

You may already know, the C-17 was originally planned to also get a civilian certification, so the (then) MD-17, now called the BC-17 could be sold to civilians. That certification was put on hold as a budget cut back in 1990. No BC-17s have been sold, but if one is ever sold, it will need a civilian certification flight test program.

Lockheed did get a civilian certification for the C-141A, the civilian version was called the L-300. But none were ever sold. I don't see any civilian sales to commericial airlines for the A-400M, either. Most of the L-100s are no longer flying either.
 
cmb56
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:35 pm

You all need to take a look at the AN-124. The Russians/Ukrainians are on the verge of putting up serious capital to restart production. Out size cargo transport has been growing at 30% per year (if you believe the numbers put up by the 124s only operator). Yes C-17s are very expensive and not great econonmics but if hauling something that just won't fit in anything else is your business then that is what you buy. What would be the estimated cost of a BC-17? The numbers I have seen to restart the AN-124 is 500 million US$ just to get the factory going again. Would that pay for a civil cert of the C-17? The really big jobs will go to the Antonov, maybe we will eventually see A-400s in the commercial world too. This is just the start, don't count anything out yet.
 
keesje
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:36 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
Because neither Canada nor the US are going to order the A-400M.

So that is related to choosen a cold weather site !? I learned something new..

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
Using airways is not a huge operational advantage, as you say. It is limited by the VORTACs the aircraft will fly. Airways have very little tactical or strategic value because they depend on ground based nav-aids. R-NAV or GPS NAV are much shorter and faster routes..

Well, European ATC doesn't work like that..

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 18):
the 124s only operator

There are a few more.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-124#Operators

Civil certification doesn't have much to do with a civil variant.. it is about being allowed to use civil corridors. Regulations will change in the future.

http://www.flightglobal.com/assets/getAsset.aspx?ItemID=31998

[Edited 2009-12-25 12:42:10 by keesje]
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kc135topboom
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:19 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 19):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
Because neither Canada nor the US are going to order the A-400M.

So that is related to choosen a cold weather site !? I learned something new..

EADS/Airbus has been that petty before, why not now?

Quoting Keesje (Reply 19):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
Using airways is not a huge operational advantage, as you say. It is limited by the VORTACs the aircraft will fly. Airways have very little tactical or strategic value because they depend on ground based nav-aids. R-NAV or GPS NAV are much shorter and faster routes..

Well, European ATC doesn't work like that..



Quoting Keesje (Reply 19):

Civil certification doesn't have much to do with a civil variant.. it is about being allowed to use civil corridors. Regulations will change in the future.

My KC-135 flew airways, on occasions, while in Europe. Has something changed? But, as I said before, flying airways is not an advantage and is based on ground based nav-aids.
 
cargotanker
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:25 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 16):
The reason for civil certification is militairy transport using civil airways. Together with its M0.72 speed / ceiling it will be able to use those, contrary to the Hercs /Transalls now in use. A huge operational advantage.



Quoting Kmz (Reply 10):
could it not make sense to split the certification process into batches, lets' say military certification before civilian certification? this could give them the chance to start production earlier and deliver a/c to their customers,no? they can at least use the first ac/c for training...

I've been trying to understand some of this civil vs military certification stuff...are you guys talking RVSM and RNP? Does anyone have a good link where I can read about it? I know that the C-130J is not yet RVSM compliant, thus it cannot use European airways between FL 290 and 410. But it is in the process of getting that ceritification. The C-17 and KC-135 comply with all requirements to operate over Europe (RVSM, RNP) at any altitude and we ALWAYS fly on the airways when crossing Europe. I have not seen separate military or civilian airways, or airways that I'm not permitted to fly on because I'm in a military plane.
 
A342
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:52 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 20):
EADS/Airbus has been that petty before, why not now?

?!? The A380 was cold weather tested in Canada, do you really think they expect AC or TS to order it? High-altitude testing was carried out in ADD and MDE. Does Airbus really expect ET or AV to order the A380? The A346 high altitude tesing was carried out at LPB, do they expect a Bolivian airline to order it?

Your theory is absurd, to say the least.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:39 pm



Quoting Cargotanker (Reply 21):
I've been trying to understand some of this civil vs military certification stuff...are you guys talking RVSM and RNP?

I cannot speak for others, but I thought we were talking about RVSM.

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/...vice_units/enroute/rvsm/status_ww/

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/...es/ato/service_units/enroute/rvsm/

But if Keesje and others were talking RNP, or even R-NAV, there is not a civil cert required for military aircraft to fly RNP (or R-NAV), or RVSM, in Europe, or anywhere else where RVSM is implamented.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Required_Navigation_Performance
 
cmb56
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Sat Dec 26, 2009 6:09 pm

If you want a link to the leading edge in Air Traffic Control go to the EuroControl website and start fishing around. The Europeans are years ahead of the FAA in this area. Second choice would be the FAA website and look at the Next Gen ATC links and descriptions there.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:01 pm



Quoting CMB56 (Reply 24):
If you want a link to the leading edge in Air Traffic Control go to the EuroControl website and start fishing around. The Europeans are years ahead of the FAA in this area. Second choice would be the FAA website and look at the Next Gen ATC links and descriptions there.

It does not really matter, Europe still lets USAF KC-135s, C-17s, C-130s, C-5s B-52s, F-15s, etc. to fly in that airspace. None of them have a civilian certification.
 
cmb56
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:44 pm

Quite correct. Military aircraft that have the correct equipment mix with commercial traffic everyday. The civilian certification opens up the market to sell the aircraft for commercial purposes. So for EADS to certify the A400 comercially may make a difference to the current customers in that they can do charter work to help pay for the aircraft. There is an article on the internet that compares the C-17 to the AN-124 for potential use by the Canadian Forces. This commercial use when not doing military work is discussed in the article. I don't believe I have ever seen that potential discussed by the US Air Force.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:57 pm



Quoting CMB56 (Reply 26):
I don't believe I have ever seen that potential discussed by the US Air Force.

US Military aircraft cannot compete with commerical aircraft for revenue flights by federal law.
 
cmb56
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:24 am

Thank you for that clarification, it makes sense in our system here in the US. This may not be the case in other countries, I simply do not know. I know that Britain is still in the process of doing a tanker program as a private venture with the RAF contracting for the service and from another article that I read the Canadians at least considered it for a cargo aircraft. In both cases the plan being to use the idle aircraft to make money. These are also very small fleets, less than 15 aircraft?

Perhaps over time the current situation will show which market path is more successful, having a civil certified aircraft but no civilian customers or having a great aircraft with no civilian certification? A400M vs. C-17.

In another few years the C-17 may go out of production, then EADS would own the market for anything smaller than the AN-124.
Unless of course congress keeps buy equipment that the military says they don't want. The C-17 is just one example of that.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A400M Flight Test Program

Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:11 pm



Quoting CMB56 (Reply 28):
In another few years the C-17 may go out of production, then EADS would own the market for anything smaller than the AN-124.

There will be a new Chinese cargo jet that is slightly bigger than the A-400M in production by the time the C-17 line closes. Also we don't know, yet, where LM will go with their proposed C-130X program.

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 28):
Thank you for that clarification, it makes sense in our system here in the US. This may not be the case in other countries, I simply do not know.

I think Sweden offers their military cargo aircraft and crews for commerical ventures.

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