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A400M Flight Test Thread

Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:27 pm

This thread is for the discussion of A400M flight tests only. If you wish to post general comments about the A400M (such as speculation of orders, comparisons with other cargo a/c, etc.) please use the dedicated thread that has been established for such discussion.
General A400M Discussion Thread (by moderators Jan 8 2011 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

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[Edited 2011-01-08 11:30:10]
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Revelation
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:16 pm

On 5 Jan 2011, Aviation Week reports:

Quote:

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies, as the test A400Ms are named, are undergoing intensive flight tests. On Nov. 4, Grizzly 3 dropped paratroopers for the first time, two each from the U.K. and French armed forces, and two from the French flight-test center. By the second week of November, the test aircraft had accumulated more than 800 flight hours. Grizzly 4 was to be delivered by the end of December.

Airbus Military says the flight envelope, artificial icing, velocity of minimum control and velocity minimum unstick tests are complete. Testing of cruise performance, climb, braking and flutter flight were underway at press time. Some military-specific tests such as night-vision operations have been done, and tests for landing on unpaved runways are planned.

The cold-weather and hot-and-high trials take place this year, along with cargo operations and evaluation of the autopilot. “The objective is that we get civil certification before the end of 2011,” Barbara Kracht, a representative of Airbus Military, tells DTI.


I guess they didn't want to mention that Trooper Tom was one of the parachutists?

Ref: PICTURES: Airbus chief Enders makes skydive from A400M

I think it'd be way-cool if they get civil certification before the end of 2011.

I imagine this would help speed up the rest of the testing regime, no?

Otherwise, why make it such a high priority, given that delivery is not set till 2014?


Grizzly 4 takes off
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keesje
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:24 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 1):
Otherwise, why make it such a high priority, given that delivery is not set till 2014?

I can only guess unprepared field operations, cargo operations, refuelling helicopters and jets, cold, hot, high, route proofing and ECM etc. testing is going to take time,,
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Klaus
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:43 pm

I would also expect that civilian certification is more or less standard procedure with well-known parameters and experience carrying over from the civilian product lines.

The military certifications probably involve bigger challenges and more diverse tests. And I'm sure it simplifies things when during the military testing the prototypes can operate normally in civilian airspace without special provisions and limitations.
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:19 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 3):
And I'm sure it simplifies things when during the military testing the prototypes can operate normally in civilian airspace without special provisions and limitations.

Yes, that's what I was thinking when I said:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 1):
I imagine this would help speed up the rest of the testing regime, no?

I was wondering if there were other reasons.

I vaguely recall someone stating that getting military certification was easier if you had civil certification first, but have forgotten the reasons why.

In any case, I'm looking forward to seeing the civil certification by end of this year!
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zeke
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:39 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 4):
I vaguely recall someone stating that getting military certification was easier if you had civil certification first, but have forgotten the reasons why.

It is for 2 reasons, civil certification gives a clear known pathway for life support of the airframe, A/Ds, S/Bs, defect reporting etc, the procedures between the local CAA and EASA are already in place. Once it has a civil TCDS, it can get a civil production certificate, civil export COA, repair stations, parts traceability between countries etc.

The second reason is that military certification is not done that often, and many countries just cannot afforded, nor do they have the skills to do it. Military rules are updated as often, military certification is more related to outcomes and systems where civil certification is more about performance, quality, and safety. Often military certification is not a certification per say at all, it is more like meeting a series of MIL STDs.

The KC-30 received its civil certification first, as well as a civil supplemental TCDS, then it received its military certification from Spain.
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:49 pm

Thanks, Zeke, that's the exact info I was after.

A follow-on, if I may:

Quoting zeke (Reply 5):
The second reason is that military certification is not done that often, and many countries just cannot afforded, nor do they have the skills to do it.

So would a relatively poor nation wanting A400Ms purchase them with military equipment and just not bother to have a formal military certification process? Or would they tend to use another nation's process as a starting point, and in terms of the on-going rules updates, etc?
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:30 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 1):
I think it'd be way-cool if they get civil certification before the end of 2011.

I imagine this would help speed up the rest of the testing regime, no?

Otherwise, why make it such a high priority, given that delivery is not set till 2014?
Quoting keesje (Reply 2):
I can only guess unprepared field operations, cargo operations, refuelling helicopters and jets, cold, hot, high, route proofing and ECM etc. testing is going to take time,,
Quoting Klaus (Reply 3):
I would also expect that civilian certification is more or less standard procedure with well-known parameters and experience carrying over from the civilian product lines.

The military certifications probably involve bigger challenges and more diverse tests. And I'm sure it simplifies things when during the military testing the prototypes can operate normally in civilian airspace without special provisions and limitations.

Military aircraft do not need a civilian certificate to operate within the civilian airspace, commerical airports, or anything other than being operated by a commerical airline/enterprise for profit. An example of this would be for fire fighting or commerical cargo operations, possibly carrying paying passengers.

The drive by EADS to get the civilian cert. may indicate plans to offer a civilian version of the A-400. The KC-10 and C-17 have partial civilian certs., but mostly to share parts with commerical aircraft, like engines. The A-400, as far as I know does not currently share any major parts with any other commerical airplane. The CN-235 and C-295 are sold to commerical airlines so they did need a full civilian cert., along with the military cert. Other military aircraft bought after their civilian versions have been in civilian service (B-737NG, A-319CJ, B-757, A-330, A-340, B-707, etc.) only got limited military certifications in their military flight testing (only for the missions they were needed to fly), but in most cases that was well after these airplanes had been in airline service for many years. The Italian KC-767A also got a civilian TCDS (FAA), along with its Italian military cert. The Japanese KC-767J also got a FAA TCDS.

The A-330MRTT was a different story since it will operate (with the RAF) in the civilian realm when not in use by the RAF, but I don't know why it needed one for the RAAF, other than it was a contract specification. Perhaps the RAAF is planning on sharing spares with QF?

I understand that some A-400 military customers wanted the civilian certification, but most of that testing could be done with the military flight testing. I also think the military testing should have been completed first, then complete what ever requirements remained for the civilian certification.
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:52 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
Military aircraft do not need a civilian certificate to operate within the civilian airspace, commerical airports, or anything other than being operated by a commerical airline/enterprise for profit.

No, but I could imagine that operating a prototype might involve a little more overhead and/or limitations than with a certified aircraft.
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:37 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 8):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
Military aircraft do not need a civilian certificate to operate within the civilian airspace, commerical airports, or anything other than being operated by a commerical airline/enterprise for profit.

No, but I could imagine that operating a prototype might involve a little more overhead and/or limitations than with a certified aircraft.

All aircraft begin flying as prototypes, including the A-380, B-747-8F/I, and the B-787. When the time comes, the A-350 will begin flying, as a prototype. In the US, commerical aircraft begin flying under an "experimental certificate". The F-35s and A-400s are just prototypes at this point in time.
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:49 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 9):
All aircraft begin flying as prototypes,

Of course. But only as long as necessary.
 
r2rho
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:22 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 1):
I think it'd be way-cool if they get civil certification before the end of 2011.

I imagine this would help speed up the rest of the testing regime, no?

Otherwise, why make it such a high priority, given that delivery is not set till 2014?

Apart from what has been said by the others, don't forget the symbolic meaning of having a certified aircraft:
Towards the customers, you're showing that the design is validated, that your aircraft is mature. "Sure, it doesn't do all the fancy military stuff you asked for yet, but we'll get that sorted out in the following years - with our already [civil] certified aircraft."
Towards the Airbus employees, it gives them a specific target to work towards, and a feeling of accomplishment, which is important in a program that has been dragging on for years and did not seem to have a clear way ahead.
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:55 am

Another side aspect to the civilian certification: It might possibly open the option of beginning delivery of the first production aircraft to customers before the military certification has been completed with not too much inconvenience, providing at least partial capabilities that way until the military certificate is post-issued.

With the last of the test aircraft on its way, there seems to be enough time to get a few of the series models out before military certification is complete.

I don't know if that is really practical, but in light of occasional civilian charters by various forces the thought doesn't look entirely outlandish to me. If the civilian certificate was still missing, would that even be possible at all?
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:02 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):

So would a relatively poor nation wanting A400Ms purchase them with military equipment and just not bother to have a formal military certification process?

Poor may have nothing to do with it, it could also be that the manufacturer does not give out all the data required to perform the certification. For example the Super Hornets being delivered to Australia are a USN standard build, Boeing does not release the software for the Super Hornet to Australia, so Australia cannot do full certification.

Civil certification is becoming more and more standard, KC-X is required to be civil certified, and I would expect any new helicopter also to be civil certified.

Smaller customers I would expect would use a larger customers build standard, and "accept' their certification. For example I would expect UK, France, Germany, and Spain all to do military certification of the A400M, and a country like Malaysia to use one of the certified build standards.
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:32 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 12):
Another side aspect to the civilian certification: It might possibly open the option of beginning delivery of the first production aircraft to customers before the military certification has been completed with not too much inconvenience, providing at least partial capabilities that way until the military certificate is post-issued.

????? The customers are military forces, to them the airplane is useless without the military certification. To the military, the civilian certification is meaningless as there are no military missions that can use the civil cert.
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:14 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 14):
The customers are military forces, to them the airplane is useless without the military certification. To the military, the civilian certification is meaningless as there are no military missions that can use the civil cert.

It's not a fighter jet. Military forces use even civilian charters from time to time which most definitely don't have military certifications, so it seemed plausible to me that there could possibly be some better use to the first production aircraft than just standing around at the Airbus facility with a perfectly good civilian certificate.

I'm not saying I definitely expect that to happen, just that it seems plausible.
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:40 pm

Charters are used to additional short term capacity. The military knows these aircraft do not have any military certifications. However, chartered airliners and cargo aircraft for the US DOD must meet strict USAF maintenance standards that exceed those of the FAA.

I still don't see the need for a civil cert for the A-400, or any other military designed aircrat, onless they are also offered as a commerical version. I just wonder why the military customers wanted it when they don't need it.
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:47 am

Given the number of L100s, AN76, AN12, Shorts Belfast etc flying with civil registrations, it seems the market has already stated there is a need for civil operated mid-sized transport, e.g. supporting humanitarian efforts of the UNHCR, Antarctic expeditions, moving large mining equipment in more remote areas.

Having civil certification is providing something that other new build aircraft lack.
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Klaus
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:55 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
Charters are used to additional short term capacity. The military knows these aircraft do not have any military certifications. However, chartered airliners and cargo aircraft for the US DOD must meet strict USAF maintenance standards that exceed those of the FAA.

Well, the A400M will certainly be able to meet these requirements in the temporary period between issuance of its commercial and military certificates.

I'm not saying it absolutely should be done – there may be many secondary considerations – just with the tight air transport situations of most customer forces a "civilian" A400M in limited use might still beat these copies sitting around on the tarmac in Seville unused and having to charter Antonovs.
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:40 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
Well, the A400M will certainly be able to meet these requirements in the temporary period between issuance of its commercial and military certificates.

Perhaps. But lets not forget the A-400 still has 2-3 years of flight testing before the first one is delivered to France. That will happen after both the civil and military certs. have been given to the airplane. So, I guess this debate of civil and military certs for it are academic.
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:54 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
Perhaps. But lets not forget the A-400 still has 2-3 years of flight testing before the first one is delivered to France. That will happen after both the civil and military certs.

Any additional flight testing after civilian certification would only go towards military certification and increased capabilities beyond the baseline, wouldn't it?

Would it really be smart to leave the production aircraft assembled in the meantime just wait in storage for that time?

At this point I'd appreciate it if anybody knew what the planning through this stage is actually like at Airbus and their customers.
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:08 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 20):

At this point I'd appreciate it if anybody knew what the planning through this stage is actually like at Airbus and their customers.

Type certification for the A400M is expected to be achieved this year (2011), initially to be only cleared for medium sized transport operations, software upgrades will provide additional capabilities once approved. First production deliveries are expected in 2012.
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Klaus
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:46 pm

Thanks for the info.

Will the first deliveries be held back until final military certification under the revised schedule?
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:11 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 22):
Will the first deliveries be held back until final military certification under the revised schedule?

Not that I have seen in the press releases. As I understand it the first A-400 is currently scheduled for delivery somewhere between Dec. 2012 and the end of 1Q2013 to France. So we are about 2 years from seeing the A-400 EIS
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:20 pm

If they're in fact halting production or storing the aircraft until military certification is complete, that would indeed be the end of that idea.
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:26 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 24):
If they're in fact halting production or storing the aircraft until military certification is complete, that would indeed be the end of that idea.

I have heard nothing to that effect. The aircraft that are in production now will be used for flight testing in around 4 months, they will perform the route proving flight tests.
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kanban
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:38 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 25):
they will perform the route proving flight tests

I have to believe this is "route proving" is jargon for flying into various bases with various sized loads, seeing how far they can go on a tank of fuel, and generally showing the flag.....
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:03 am

The reliability route-proving demonstration flights are a requirement for civil certification, it is not a marketing exercise.

The A380, 747-BCF, A330F, and KC-30 all did a number of route-proving flights before certification, and the 787 will also soon do the same.

This is a standard part of the civil certification process.
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kanban
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:21 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 27):
This is a standard part of the civil certification process

sorry that was the part I missed....
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:06 pm

As far as 'proving' flights go, for the C-130J and C-17A, they loaded XX tonnes of 'cargo' (usually concrete blocks), with XXXK lbs of fuel, fly for XX hours and XXX nm distance, depart from EDW, at MTOW, and land back at EDW (flight profiles take the flight test aircraft through different high altitude wind conditions).

Since this is the first large European military design, since the RAF 1960s era Belfast (the C-160, C-27, etc. are small cargo aircraft) the military and civil certifiers may use the same mission profile, and/or something different. But my understanding of route proving flight testing usually include the airline concerned. Cargolux is currently involved in these test flights for the B-747-8F. AA and BA were involved in these tests for the B-777-200ER back in the late 1990s.
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:18 pm

A400M goes to Kiruna, Sweden for Winter trials, testing the aircraft at temperatures of -21.

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...dergoes-swedish-winter-trials.html

(There is apparently no truth to the rumour that the aircraft was nicknamed "Assange" ... going to Sweden for a winter trial?)
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:18 pm

Quoting kaitak (Reply 30):
(There is apparently no truth to the rumour that the aircraft was nicknamed "Assange" ... going to Sweden for a winter trial?)

        

Quoting kaitak (Reply 30):
A400M goes to Kiruna, Sweden for Winter trials, testing the aircraft at temperatures of -21.

That should be cold enough for the testing. But, why didn't EADS ask to use the USAF cold/hot weather test hanger in Florida? IIRC, Boeing used this facility for the cold weather testing of the B-787.
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:26 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 31):
That should be cold enough for the testing. But, why didn't EADS ask to use the USAF cold/hot weather test hanger in Florida? IIRC, Boeing used this facility for the cold weather testing of the B-787.

Why should they, surely natural conditions are suitable for this. The use of the Hanger by the 787 was more to do with timing, first flight was too late for this to happen during the Northern Hemisphere winter 2009/2010, and they wanted it done before first delivery in Q4 2010. As it turned out they could of done all the testing they wanted this Winter, and probably saved a shed load of money.
 
Klaus
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:56 pm

Kiruna is also often very busy in winter with car manufacturers testing their prototypes there. It's basically a major local industry.

And of course you can do a lot more testing there with the A400 than just in a hangar.
 
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SAS A340
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:08 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 31):
But, why didn't EADS ask to use the USAF cold/hot weather test hanger in Florida? IIRC, Boeing used this facility for the cold weather testing of the B-787.


Because there is no need to it,why go to Florida when you have the "real" conditions a few hours away? unless you have to test below -30 C.
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kc135topboom
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:41 pm

Quoting SAS A340 (Reply 34):
Because there is no need to it,why go to Florida when you have the "real" conditions a few hours away? unless you have to test below -30 C.

While I agree with that, if they went to Florida, the crews could get some tanning time on the beach.         

Well, maybe n ot this winter, the SE US has been very cold this year. I believe Georgia has set their coldest winter on record.

But, that aside, EADS could have an oppertunity to show off the A-400 to the USAF, as well as get some testing done.
 
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kanban
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:50 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 35):
Well, maybe n ot this winter, the SE US has been very cold this year. I believe Georgia has set their coldest winter on record.

the 7478f is headed to Anchorage but I think Georgia (usa) was colder the other day (humor)
 
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kanban
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:02 pm

looks like refueling trials are in progress article includes a picture
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/ai...400m-starts-tanker-trials-wit.html
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:05 pm

Well, it seems the flight testing is moving along. When will the A-400 begin taking on fuel from the VC-10?
 
chuchoteur
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:47 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
Well, it seems the flight testing is moving along. When will the A-400 begin taking on fuel from the VC-10?

Not right now... A400M MSN 0001 is not equipped to actually receive fuel, hence the dry contacts only.
MSN 0004 is fully equipped and will do the wet contacts later on this year, probably with an MRTT I would have thought...
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:07 pm

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 39):
chuchoteur

Thanks, I did not know MSN 001 can not on-load fuel yet. For any A-400 refueling behind the A-330MRTT, how will the jet exhaust from the CF-6-80Es react against the props? Has any wind tunnel testing been done yet on that combination?
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:11 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 40):
Thanks, I did not know MSN 001 can not on-load fuel yet. For any A-400 refueling behind the A-330MRTT, how will the jet exhaust from the CF-6-80Es react against the props? Has any wind tunnel testing been done yet on that combination?

Don´t you think the engine impact of the VC10 is much bigger to the A400M as the four VC10 engines re rear-mounted?
 
Klaus
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:15 am

Isn't the whole point of the boom (among other things) to keep the receiving aircraft below the wake and exhaust turbulence?
 
328JET
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:32 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 42):
Isn't the whole point of the boom (among other things) to keep the receiving aircraft below the wake and exhaust turbulence?

We can be very sure that Airbus made some trials before.  


But you know that some people here try to find design failures of the A400M...
 
Klaus
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:49 pm

Quoting 328JET (Reply 43):
But you know that some people here try to find design failures of the A400M...

Of course. It would be against the laws of nature if it worked properly.
 
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:20 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 42):
Isn't the whole point of the boom (among other things) to keep the receiving aircraft below the wake and exhaust turbulence?
Quoting 328JET (Reply 43):
We can be very sure that Airbus made some trials before.
Quoting 328JET (Reply 43):
But you know that some people here try to find design failures of the A400M...
Quoting Klaus (Reply 44):
Of course. It would be against the laws of nature if it worked properly.

This version of the A-400 does not refuel from the Boom, it refuels from the drogues, which trails higher and further behind the tanker, thus in the wake turbalance or jet wash.

The VC-10 is equipped with 4 RR Conway 301s, each producing about 21,000 lbs of thrust. The A-330MRTT is equipped with either GE CF-6-80E1s, PW-4000s, or RR Trent 700s, each producing more than 62,000 lbs to 72,000 lbs of thrust. That is more than 50% more thrust per side of the aircraft (or about double the thrust of one Conway 301).

If EADS/Airbus has made any testing, computer or wind tunnel, with the A-330MRTT and A-400 combination as receivers or tankers, they have not released that data publicly. I know they have not done any flight testing.

EADS/Airbus has not even refueled the A-400 behind the French Air Force KC-135FR tanker, which has just a little more thrust than the VC-10 has per engine.
 
overcast
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:45 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 45):
EADS/Airbus has not even refueled the A-400 behind the French Air Force KC-135FR tanker, which has just a little more thrust than the VC-10 has per engine.



KC get real, I know that you have a great mistrust for everything that isn't US but sometimes......

They are starting to do tests now and have to start somewhere. I'm sure that they have done simulations for being refueled and refueling. As the report states clearly they this was am early check of the refueling process to derisk the full trials later this year.

I'm pretty sure that in the fullness of time they will carry out qualifications tests with all the likely combinations for receiving and giving fuel that will be needed for military qualification.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:28 pm

Quoting overcast (Reply 46):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 45):
EADS/Airbus has not even refueled the A-400 behind the French Air Force KC-135FR tanker, which has just a little more thrust than the VC-10 has per engine.



KC get real, I know that you have a great mistrust for everything that isn't US but sometimes......

They are starting to do tests now and have to start somewhere.

Then why didn't they begin with refueling from French KC-135FRs? France has 50 A-400s on order, more than twice as many as the UK has. France's order is only second in size to Germany's 53 (and they plan on selling 13 of those). France can very well turn into the A-400's largest operator.

They have not even tried to refuel the A-400 from the A-330, or the company owned KC-310. Nor have they asked to refuel behind a Luftwaffe A-310MRTT, yet. They could even ask the ITAF if they can refuel behind their KC-767A, but EADS won't do that.

Refueling and qualifying behind a tanker, the VC-10, that won't be flying much longer makes no sense at all.

I have a lot of respect for many Russian aircraft, the Tornado, Typhoon, Japanese aircraft, and even Barzilian aircraft. Just because I prefer US designs is far from saying I mistrust anyone else's aircraft.
 
A342
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:08 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
Then why didn't they begin with refueling from French KC-135FRs? France has 50 A-400s on order, more than twice as many as the UK has. France's order is only second in size to Germany's 53 (and they plan on selling 13 of those). France can very well turn into the A-400's largest operator.

They have not even tried to refuel the A-400 from the A-330, or the company owned KC-310. Nor have they asked to refuel behind a Luftwaffe A-310MRTT, yet. They could even ask the ITAF if they can refuel behind their KC-767A, but EADS won't do that.

Refueling and qualifying behind a tanker, the VC-10, that won't be flying much longer makes no sense at all.

Did you even read what overcast wrote?

Quoting overcast (Reply 46):
They are starting to do tests now and have to start somewhere.


It could be that the UK has more slack in its VC-10 fleet than France has in its KC135R fleet, simple as that. When you look at the total sizes of the French and UK tanker fleets, it actually makes sense. And I really doubt that either the Luftwaffe or the Aeronautica Militare can afford to use their extremely limited tanker resources for such tasks. Simple as that.

And apart from the US fleet, the KC135 doesn't have many years of service left either. So why don't you take this as a sign that Airbus thinks an A400M order from the USAF is unlikely? Something to cheer for you...
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
328JET
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RE: A400M Flight Test Thread

Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:11 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
Then why didn't they begin with refueling from French KC-135FRs?

They will makes tests with every possible re-fueler of the A400M.

They started now with the VC10, they could have started with the a/c which belongs to your username - but where is the difference?

They cannot start with all possible tankers at the same time... 


The VC10 has around 400 KN thrust in contrast to 600-640 KN of the A330MRTT.
And the engines are located at the rear which should therefore have the same impact as the higher thrust A330MRTT engines.

So what is the deal?

I am really wondering what your comments would have been if the A400M would be a US product...

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