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General A400M Discussion Thread

Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:29 pm

This thread is for the discussion of all non-flight test related matters in regards to the A400M. If you wish to discuss the A400M test flights, please use the dedicated thread that has been established for the discussion of that topic:

A400M Flight Test Thread (by moderators Jan 8 2011 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

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328JET
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:23 pm

A lot of people here are saying that the C17 offers double lift at less than double costs in comparision to the A400M.

This might be true, but it is irrelevant as not every country has a demand for higher lift.

(Or does every C130J customers needs the lift of the C17 as well...?)


And what about the "new" Galaxy?

It offers a lot more lift than the C17 at much lower costs.

Why did nobody say that the C17 is such an expensive aircraft in comparison?


Because every aircraft has its market and niche.

And the market or the demand is big enough for the C17, A400M, C130J and the smaller C27J, C295 etc.
 
Klaus
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:30 pm

You are describing short-term issues.

During the useful life of the A400M program (and particularly after the time the first production slots will become available for outside customers), the world and the economic situation will most probably undergo major shifts and developments anyway.

Nobody expects the DoD to plunk a mountain of cash on the table today for a bunch of A400Ms.

Within the coming decades, however, things can and will develop further. I don't think anybody can really make sound predictions across that whole period where the A400M will be on offer.

[Edited 2011-01-11 05:41:46 by SA7700]
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:53 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 4):
Nobody expects the DoD to plunk a mountain of cash on the table today for a bunch of A400Ms.

Within the coming decades, however, things can and will develop further. I don't think anybody can really make sound predictions across that whole period where the A400M will be on offer.

...That's assuming that the United States will ever try to return to an ambitious global expeditionary role, which is debatable. Look at many western European nations, over the past few decades, they've essentially made themselves irrelevant on the global stage. And what effective 'muscle' that they retain is contingent on a NATO/US involvement. But now the US will be asking themselves the same question: why should we be spending so much on defense? Why do we need such a large military?

And the fact remains that the US is likely to repeat the wilderness years of post-Viet Nam. However, this time the situation is even more dire, considering the massive economic and social crises we face. Because when we stop and take an objective look at the financial budget crisis, one of two things has to occur: 1.) "bankruptcy" and defaulting on our debt. 2.) Massive budget cuts, which the military would be the "easiest" to achieve.

And even more importantly... lets just say the hundreds of billions of dollars needed for the US to purchase the A400M suddenly materializes. That still does not address the question of whether or not the need for the aircraft will still exist. I don't think any of us deny that the US will be undergoing a sharp contraction of global military commitments. The appetite for war and overseas adventures has evaporated.

...Hell isn't that exactly what so many in Europe wanted!? - A contraction of US military power, and a greater hesitation to rush into war? It's funny that some of you suddenly change your tune, when you want the US to buy some of your equipment.  

[Edited 2011-01-08 15:55:12]
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:53 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 4):
You are describing short-term issues.

A question I would then ask is why is no one getting on the EU nations for being short sighted and actually reducing their numbers, stalled for months on funding developments and not stating their intention to increase their numbers.
These are actual moves being taken by the nations who are designing and building the a/c, so far the US is not involved, all we have are opinions of Americans and their supporters on this site, their short sights pales in comparion to the actual actions being taken in Europe.

One may start to get the impression from reading all the A400M threads that the success or failure of the a/c is with the US government and its military services.  
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:05 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 6):
A question I would then ask is why is no one getting on the EU nations for being short sighted and actually reducing their numbers, stalled for months on funding developments and not stating their intention to increase their numbers.

That's a great point.

And I think the logical answer is simple: their citizenry is asking a fair question -- during this time of mounting financial and social pressures, can we really afford to committing ourselves to other people's wars??

And the US is starting to ask themselves the same question. And as the drum beat for budget cuts continue to grow louder, the $700billion DoD budget is a tempting target. The individual branches are being asked to provide a No-Shit List of what they absolutely cannot do without to meet their basic mission. No one has yet to make a convincing case that the A400M is a must have. And that without it, the USAF's ability to meet mission is significantly degraded. Until they can do that, the idea of the US purchasing the A400M is a pipe dream.
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kanban
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:13 am

The current US Armed Forces reduction will probably continue for 10 years and then stay level for the next 10 years or longer as the recovery is very slow. When they have budget to spend on new hardware, I doubt that the first things they will look at are additional air transports.

The next thing I believe we'll be hearing is several European countries will want to decelerate their A400 deliveries. They will keep the numbers but stretch the deliveries over another 5 or so years.
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:41 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 5):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 4):
Nobody expects the DoD to plunk a mountain of cash on the table today for a bunch of A400Ms.

Within the coming decades, however, things can and will develop further. I don't think anybody can really make sound predictions across that whole period where the A400M will be on offer.

...That's assuming that the United States will ever try to return to an ambitious global expeditionary role, which is debatable.

I'm not even debating that here. I'm simply pointing towards the difficulty of predicting the future that far in advance.

The A400M is about to become an available resource. How exactly the corresponding needs will develop is to be seen, but the program will be available for decades to come. That's it.

Actual procurement with all its political ramifications will heavily depend on the way the military, economical and political situation at the time. And my point is simply that there are many known and unknown unknowns on that path.

That's it. No reason to get excited, really!
 
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 5):
Look at many western European nations, over the past few decades, they've essentially made themselves irrelevant on the global stage.

Since WWII european countries have not really played a global role any more, and I would say in case of Germany the last times we've had a "global role" didn't go so well...

In recent decades most of our militaries have been undergoing a major change from cannon fodder in WWIII, slightly buffering the first impact of a soviet invasion towards a multi-purpose force with trans-regional deployability. That is a fundamental overhaul.

You're massively oversimplifying both the quantitave and the qualitative developments in that regard.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 5):
And even more importantly... lets just say the hundreds of billions of dollars needed for the US to purchase the A400M suddenly materializes. That still does not address the question of whether or not the need for the aircraft will still exist. I don't think any of us deny that the US will be undergoing a sharp contraction of global military commitments. The appetite for war and overseas adventures has evaporated.

We know how quickly such things can change.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 5):
...Hell isn't that exactly what so many in Europe wanted!? - A contraction of US military power, and a greater hesitation to rush into war? It's funny that some of you suddenly change your tune, when you want the US to buy some of your equipment.

Sorry, but that is really beneath you. You've already exposed the fact that you are capable of insightful, differentiated consideration of complex topics. It's too late to camouflage yourself now as a jingoistic troglodyte with the knee-jerk as the highest brain function.

Seriously: Most military endeavours scale both with quantity of material and the intelligence of the strategic and tactical use of that material.

The Iraq war was a completely harebrained blunder, based on nothing but misconceived ideology and riddled with unrealistic assumptions all around, in the process severely damaging the necessary Afghanistan campaign. That is why it has been criticized.

Wanting to reduce US military power would only look like an attractive prospect if one assumed that the political and military intelligence behind that power was a completely lost cause, basically as a desperate last resort: If you can't secure a loose cannon, the last resort would be to hope that at least its ammunition ran out.

The absolutely primary request has always been to think more realistically about when and how to use the military forces available.

It really is a defensive knee-jerk reaction to completely ignore and deflect the calls for more intelligent use and instead pretend that everyone was just out to weaken or destroy your forces. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I think you do really know that.

Quoting par13del (Reply 6):
A question I would then ask is why is no one getting on the EU nations for being short sighted and actually reducing their numbers, stalled for months on funding developments and not stating their intention to increase their numbers.

The member nations do see this program through. Squabbling about details like the initial order volume (which can and will be further modified up or down in the coming years anyway) is small fry by comparison.

The US DoD is not a customer for the A400M at this point and may never be. But anyone who's incapable of considering potential developments through decades ahead should just not be working in aviation management.
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:33 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 13):
But anyone who's incapable of considering potential developments through decades ahead should just not be working in aviation management
Quoting Klaus (Reply 13):
Actual procurement with all its political ramifications will heavily depend on the way the military, economical and political situation at the time. And my point is simply that there are many known and unknown unknowns on that path.

As mentioned, the US was struggling to continue a line for a very successful a/c - C17 - which is proven in the field, one of the options the Europeans could have looked at was to acquire C-17's even build them under license, instead they chose national development over trade and designed and built their own, in this case political considerations trump the military. Such was the decision made decades ago to preserve aviation knowledge in Europe, no one questions the results of that decision.
If this options works out for the Europeans, in 10 - 20 years time when the US is looking at replacing their C-17's and C-130's, they will be able to look across the pond and learn from their experience by viewing the final results, as it relates to the A400M, it will be a mature and proven platform a mirror of the C-17 at this point in time.
The big question is will the politics be any different.
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:38 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 13):
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 5):
And even more importantly... lets just say the hundreds of billions of dollars needed for the US to purchase the A400M suddenly materializes. That still does not address the question of whether or not the need for the aircraft will still exist. I don't think any of us deny that the US will be undergoing a sharp contraction of global military commitments. The appetite for war and overseas adventures has evaporated.

We know how quickly such things can change.

In what direction?

The US spends more on defense than the rest of the world combined.

How long do you expect that to continue?

Quoting Klaus (Reply 13):
But anyone who's incapable of considering potential developments through decades ahead should just not be working in aviation management.

One could equally say that someone who justifies A400M's continuance in spite of EADS's admitted incompetence and allows for the huge overruns in time and money based on PERHAPS someone coming along PERHAPS decades from now and bailing the program out also should just not be working in aviation management.

IMHO, your comment is amongst the most arrogant and self serving I've ever seen here on a.net. Just because someone sees the future differently than you do, does not mean they are "incapable of considering potential developments through decades ahead". And to then go on to say that person "should just not be working in aviation management" is the height of arrogance, IMHO.

[Edited 2011-01-09 06:42:42]
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:12 pm

can we quit squabbling like a bunch of children (you said/no I didn't).. some days if I had the resources I'd round all of you up and put you in a closed room with nerf sticks until ....?

Zeke, do you have a link to the whole presentation that the graph from hades came from... ? I think that might end some of the assumptions.

basically though, the A400 fits some potential air transport needs for a mid capacity a/c... but the marketplace seems to be reacting with more options than were envisioned when this project started. So experts out there who are the potential new customers? what do the have today (in place or on order)?

with the potential weight growth of the transportable ground vehicles will that change the picture? (one thing I've noted is this need to strip them down for shipping weight, and re assemble at the destination.. that seems to imply that they will not be doing live drops in the middle of a combat theater where the troops roll out the door with guns blazing... )
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:37 pm

A quick reminder:

Quoting moderators (Thread starter):
Please keep the discussions on topic as well as within the Forum Rules. If you see a post that you feel violates the Forum Rules, please suggest deletion on it as soon as possible so the Moderators are not forced to lock a thread due to the amount of posts that would need to be removed.

This is the only warning that will be given in regards to off-topic posts. If this thread goes off-topic, it will be locked.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:01 pm

So who in north america is going to buy 400 units if not the USAF? COME ON. This has to be the wrost excuse given for EADS crack smoking in thier market forcasts. Canada doesn't need 400 of anything that flys, and CAN'T buy the A400M even if it did. So lets look at the next nation that could order it in NA. Mexico. What the hell are they going to do with 400 A400M? Where are they going to get the money? C130 are cheap and even that I doubt will see many sales to replace current frames that become unservicable. Certainly not going to hit 400 selling handfuls to the other small nations in north america, even if they would buy anything that expensive. Look at the trouble that South Africa has with its order... and its a nation with large defense budget, and pretentions to exerting that power outside its own border if required. Mexico and the rest in central america don't exactly match them in size of budget or attempts to justify it with power projection.

[Edited 2011-01-11 06:41:04 by SA7700]
 
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par13del
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:32 pm

To play devils advocate, they said "No USAF penetration", maybe they mean cargo carriers in North America will start using larger props - A400M - to save fuel cost versus jets like the 757, A300, etc?
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:59 pm

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 32):
Mexico.

Well I wouldn't even consider Mexico in that category. Because if you look at the graph, there is a column for Latin America. Since they made that distinction in categories, I would assume that North America = USA and Canada.

Anyway the disclaimer is that they forecast 400 A400M type. However, I still maintain that the money simply isn't there. As I stated, we're going into another wilderness period, where we won't see major upgrades or purchases. We're tightening the belt.
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Galaxy5007
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:54 pm

No Offense to anyone; but this seems to be a repeat of the last thread...same chart, same discussion...Why (again) are people (keesje in particular) keep bringing old topics back up when everyone is pretty much in agreement that hes wrong in many aspects.

TopBoom; just to clairify, 206 C-17s have been delivered to the USAF to be exact. Im not sure why, but the last serial ends at P-222.
 
Klaus
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:36 am

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 35):
No Offense to anyone; but this seems to be a repeat of the last thread...same chart, same discussion...Why (again) are people (keesje in particular) keep bringing old topics back up when everyone is pretty much in agreement that hes wrong in many aspects.

You are perfectly within your rights to see it that way, as he is in the opposite direction.
I can just as much consider the question to remain open through years and possibly decades to come.

When you're looking at the history of sure bets, there haven't really been that many in hindsight, particularly in the military field.

At this point the A400 looks to be in decent shape with regards to its actual performance, horribly out of time and over budget (not uncommon for this kind of project) and with neither opportunity nor demand for selling any of the far-away open slots in its production run.

Anyone can stir his own tea leaves any way he wants, but at that level of theoretical speculation, are they really worth getting excited about?
 
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zeke
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:51 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 29):
Zeke, do you have a link to the whole presentation that the graph from hades came from... ? I think that might end some of the assumptions.

Sure, it is not hidden, it was presented in 2008 to investors, it is available for anyone to view on the EADS site.

http://www.eads.com/dms/eads/int/en/.../gif2008_workshop_a400m_suarez.pdf

You will see from the presentation that they did not assumed to pickup any A400M orders in North America, it assumes zero penetration in the USAF, if they do it will be a bonus.

What seems to be misunderstood, the market forecast suggests that 400 mid size transports will come up for replacement or renewal by 2025 in North America. I do not think that number is unreasonable given the size and age of mid size transport fleets. However EADS in their presentation removed those aircraft from their potential market size, this is being conservative.

This would be no different to EADS presenting a graph with the worldwide fleet of mid sized wide bodies, IL-96, 767, A330, A340, 777, and then to come up and say they expect 3000 of them need replacement by 2035. 2000 of them outside of the USA, and they expect to capture 1000 of those sales with the A330/A350. It would then follow they would expect the 787/777 to capture 2000 sales, 1000 from North America, and 1000 from the rest of the world.

The presentation is basically saying that they are looking at getting 45% of the market share (600/1300) with the A400M, with aircraft like the C-130/AN-70/C-17 taking up the remaining 65% (700/1300).

Clearly the A400M is in the mid size transport market, looking at the other aircraft in the market segment it was compared to C-130s, C-160, AN-12, and IL-76/78. The A400M will easily do the role of those aircraft and then some, with modern oversized loads.

The A400M comes in at different pricing levels, depending on what bells and whistles (capabilities) a customer wants installed. Often on here people deliberately choose to use the most expensive A400M price they can find with the highest capabilities, and then the cheapest price available they can find from the competition without making any acknowledgement for the capability differences. Sure a 767 is cheaper than a 777, so is a C-130 cheaper than A400M, but in both cases they have different capabilities.
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kc135topboom
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:22 am

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 35):
TopBoom; just to clairify, 206 C-17s have been delivered to the USAF to be exact.

Thanks, I was close when I said "around 210".

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 35):
Im not sure why, but the last serial ends at P-222.

I don't remember the USAF tail numbers, but the first test flight C-17A (FY-1989 or FY-1990) was MD number T-1, and it was joined 5 other aircraft in the flight test program, numbers P-1 through P-5 (all also MD). So T-1 plus P-1 to P-222 (MD until FY-1997 and B from FY-1998 to the FY-2010 airplanes) equils the entire production of 223 C-17s for the USAF.
 
328JET
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:49 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 37):
Sure a 767 is cheaper than a 777, so is a C-130 cheaper than A400M, but in both cases they have different capabilities.

Exactly.

A C17 can do much more than a A400M, which can do much more than a Herc, which can do much more than a C295, etc...


 
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:21 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 37):
You will see from the presentation that they did not assumed to pickup any A400M orders in North America, it assumes zero penetration in the USAF, if they do it will be a bonus.

That seems very realistic. The US produces several transport aircraft themselves so why would they order European if they can get something American that will do pretty much the same, it's basic politics.

On the other hand if the tanker order falls through for Airbus (which is what my money is on) then they might order some A400's as a good will gesture for putting Airbus through all the effort for nothing.
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:50 pm

Quoting bj87 (Reply 40):
then they might order some A400's as a good will gesture for putting Airbus through all the effort for nothing.

don't count on it.... if they are feeling generous, they'll find something that's really needed....
 
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par13del
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:55 pm

Quoting bj87 (Reply 40):
On the other hand if the tanker order falls through for Airbus (which is what my money is on) then they might order some A400's as a good will gesture for putting Airbus through all the effort for nothing.

As we saying that products are purchased for reasons other than their capabilities?
Say it aint so, please  

Such sentiment if it ever happens may work against the A400M, if the Airbus tanker is selected a second time, the US government may feel they have to give something to Boeing for all their effort also, the only thing on the playing field right now is more C-17's so it could be a case of dammed if you do dammed if you don't. Add the increased cargo capabilities of the tanker with additional C-17's bought and the cargo capabilities of the US will be overflowing for a number of decades to come, even if the C-130's are retired they still may have excess capabilities, the number of places a C-130 can go that an A400M / C-17 and KC-30 cannot is not that large.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:28 pm

Quoting bj87 (Reply 40):
On the other hand if the tanker order falls through for Airbus (which is what my money is on) then they might order some A400's as a good will gesture for putting Airbus through all the effort for nothing.

After the tanker deal, or should I say if there is a tanker deal (every program is on the chopping block), I doubt there will be money to do that.

I just cannot see Congress going along buying European built airplanes that are not needed by the US after the DOD cancels some military programs that have some level of need.
 
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EPA001
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:20 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 37):

Sure, it is not hidden, it was presented in 2008 to investors, it is available for anyone to view on the EADS site.

http://www.eads.com/dms/eads/int/en/.../gif2008_workshop_a400m_suarez.pdf

You will see from the presentation that they did not assumed to pickup any A400M orders in North America, it assumes zero penetration in the USAF, if they do it will be a bonus.


Many thanks Zeke for providing us with clarity over the 400 A400M issue in North America. So this argument can be put to rest.  .
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:24 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
I don't remember the USAF tail numbers, but the first test flight C-17A (FY-1989 or FY-1990) was MD number T-1, and it was joined 5 other aircraft in the flight test program, numbers P-1 through P-5 (all also MD). So T-1 plus P-1 to P-222 (MD until FY-1997 and B from FY-1998 to the FY-2010 airplanes) equils the entire production of 223 C-17s for the USAF.

Actually, They aren't counting T-1 as part as the 223 ordered, since T-1 was never to enter service; it always has been and will be a test aircraft. For whatever reason, it got screwed up and a jet was lost somewhere. When we hit 180, 181-190 were supposed to be 08 models, but got put on the 07 budget, so 9 of them (up to 7189) got 07 serial numbers. Then 8190 (which was supposed to be 7190) came out, and was part of the 15 jets on the FY08 budget. The 8 09 jets, 9205-9212, and the 10 jets for FY10, bring it to the 222. Something happened between the FY08 and FY09 orders. My guess is the USAFs contribution to NATO (08-0001) is what took one jet out of the FY07 lineup.

Sorry this was off topic.

I am curious to how they will serialize the A400Ms considering these things were supposed to be in service already....granted I know each country does it differently.
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:20 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 37):

The presentation is basically saying that they are looking at getting 45% of the market share (600/1300) with the A400M, with aircraft like the C-130/AN-70/C-17 taking up the remaining 65% (700/1300).

It would seem a lot of the controversy could have been avoided by presenting the chart on page 16 instead of the one on page 14. Even though IMHO that one has lots of optimism on it, it isn't as open to misinterpretation as the one on page 14 is.
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kc135topboom
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:30 pm

It is academic anyway. The USAF will not get the money to buy the A-400 even if they wanted them.
 
328JET
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:55 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 27):
he USAF will not get the money to buy the A-400 even if they wanted them.

Do not be so sure.


If EADS decides to produce them in the U.S. like they planned with the KC45A, then they would get the money.
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:59 am

Quoting 328JET (Reply 28):
Do not be so sure.


If EADS decides to produce them in the U.S. like they planned with the KC45A, then they would get the money.

Not a chance. Look at the number of F-22's that were initially ordered, and how many were delivered. Look at the mess the F-35 development is. Look at the mess of the KC-X. There simply isn't a chance of the government giving the USAF the money to buy A400's, short of world war breaking out.

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Klaus
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:50 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 29):
Not a chance. Look at the number of F-22's that were initially ordered, and how many were delivered. Look at the mess the F-35 development is. Look at the mess of the KC-X. There simply isn't a chance of the government giving the USAF the money to buy A400's, short of world war breaking out.

Well, there are differences:

The F-22 and F-35 are clean-sheet designs fully funded by the DoD with development time and cost spiraling out of control , in large part due to challenging feature sets.

The KC-X has been complicated by political interference; At least the Airbus model is pretty much finished and in slightly different form alredy flying and proven.

In case of a later A400M purchase, the US would be looking at ordering a finished product pretty much off the shelf, with very little development risk - basically just for fitting of force-specific modifications.

The political risks could be similar to the KC-X campaign, but that would depend on whether the DoD got their acquisition management back under control. As dysfunctional as it appears to be now it can hardly be sustainable, A400M or not.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:35 pm

Quoting 328JET (Reply 28):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 27):
he USAF will not get the money to buy the A-400 even if they wanted them.


Do not be so sure.


If EADS decides to produce them in the U.S. like they planned with the KC45A, then they would get the money.
Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 29):
There simply isn't a chance of the government giving the USAF the money to buy A400's, short of world war breaking out.

Correct, the DOD is looking at future cuts in the neighborhood of $100B + just for the next 5 years, most of that comiong from developement and porcurment. What happens after that, at least as we see it today is more budget cutting for the DOD.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 30):
In case of a later A400M purchase, the US would be looking at ordering a finished product pretty much off the shelf, with very little development risk - basically just for fitting of force-specific modifications.

Don't forget the repayment of the export facility loan, which will add something to the costs of each airframe. How much that cost is depends on how many A-400s are ordered internationally, which would include the US.
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:46 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 31):
Don't forget the repayment of the export facility loan, which will add something to the costs of each airframe. How much that cost is depends on how many A-400s are ordered internationally, which would include the US.

No doubt, cost would certainly be a factor.
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:53 pm

Seems to be an existing captive market for civil certified medium sized transports that the A400M could fill.


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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:12 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 33):
Seems to be an existing captive market for civil certified medium sized transports that the A400M could fill.

Yes, but I can't imagine that those companies could absorb the type of capital expenses buying A400Ms would incur. Airbus would have to put the A400M on a serious cost cutting program to sell them to private carriers. The C-17 was offered to civilians as the MD-17 and BC-17X but the $200 million plus price tag was a major turnoff for potential customers.
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:36 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 17):
The presentation is basically saying that they are looking at getting 45% of the market share (600/1300) with the A400M, with aircraft like the C-130/AN-70/C-17 taking up the remaining 65% (700/1300).

Well, there's you problem! Airbus is projecting a market space of 110%. (45% + 65% = 110%).

No wonder sales are falling short....

Of course that's always the problem with government related programs, they use numbers that aren't achievable in the real world. 

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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:40 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 34):
but the $200 million plus price tag was a major turnoff for potential customers.

A think the price was MDDs biggest, if not the only, mistake when they offered the MD 17 to the customers.

(Lufthansa Cargo got a nice and impressive presentation about the field performance)


But a much smaller A400M, with all military systems removed, could be a good choice for special markets like for example, africa.

I also expect the new Embraer transporter to be offered as civil version as well.
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:16 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 17):
The presentation is basically saying that they are looking at getting 45% of the market share (600/1300) with the A400M, with aircraft like the C-130/AN-70/C-17 taking up the remaining 65% (700/1300).

Zeke apparently made a minor mistake calculating the percentages – the absolute numbers do match.

Quoting tugger (Reply 35):
Of course that's always the problem with government related programs, they use numbers that aren't achievable in the real world.

Of course entirely contrary to any private enterprise, ever!   
As everybody knows, waste, fraud and abuse absolutely never occur in the private sector.

No, sorry – EADS/Airbus isn't operating any differently from other major corporations. No wonder, since they simply are one of them.
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:21 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 37):
Zeke apparently made a minor mistake calculating the percentages – the absolute numbers do match.

Yes I did.
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:40 am

I have a question about the capability of the flight envelope protection:
Would the C-17 crash last year have happened with a A400M as well? This is the second large Boeing aircraft lost while flying patterns for flight displays:

C-17A 00-0173 AIB Results Released (by Galaxy5007 Dec 10 2010 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)
http://www.pacaf.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-101210-080.wmv

Of course the pilot choose to violate the Air Show Demonstration Profile because he seemed consistently to do manually what the Airbus flight envelope protection does automatically: skim along the boundaries of flight (E.g. in this and earlier flights the pilot experienced lengthy stall warning. Max. allowed bank C-17 = 60°, experienced bank=82°).

Obviously the C-17 can safely be operated by obedience to the limits written on some paper somewhere. These limits are instructed and briefed but the aircraft will not hinder the pilot to break them.

Obviously there is some buffer in those limits that have led the pilot to the fatal assumption that he can violate them willingly and with - what he though - the expertise of a real master pilot. He was wrong.

Granted, his performance (also in past flights) was much more stunning than a safely operated C-17 would have allowed. But IMO it still was not as stunning as a safely operated A400M.

How would the A400M have performed? What is the ultimate banking angle if a pilot just keeps the stick at a fully deflect position? How does the resulting vertical flight profile look like (demanding no vertical G-force change, one would expect that level flight simply would be kept).

But even Airbus has a logic that after a certain limit the stick must be pulled to maintain level flight. The crucial question is that bank angle and whether level flight CAN be maintained at even higher bank angles. Is there a bank angle when an Airbus aircraft will start sinking even when pulling the stick fully?

I have the information here but it still is not 100% clear what will happen in high bank angle those conditions:

http://www.ttu.fr/english/endocpdf/A400Mduality2010.pdf

Relevant quote: That!s why on the A400M, the bank angle is limited to about 60 ° compared with a flight that uses horizontal wings. On the other Airbus aircraft equipped with electrical flight controls, this limit is roughly 33 °; it was increased to 120 ° on the A400M using the same systems, but adapted to specific conditions of military operations.

What is the logic of the fligth stick say at an extreme banking of 120° (b.t.w. much more than the C-17 ever will)? Pulling now should mean that the sign of the demanded G-force switches (before it started a climb, with 120° bank I would expect it to start a descend). Somehow the logic of demanding g-forces looks tricky in high bank angle situations...

(I ask this homeless question here, because it was deleted from the crash accident report thread. Some folks told me go and make an own thread, this does not belong here, which I did. Only that thread was deleted as well)
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:07 pm

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 39):
Would the C-17 crash last year have happened with a A400M as well?

The size of the safe flight envelope of the airplanes that crashed during practice is not what has been questioned by any of the accident investigations. What was questioned was these pilots consistantly flew their aircraft outside of the safe envelopes. If the A-400 can be flown safely beyond the limits of the C-17, this guy would have done that in the A-400. The end results would have been the same, no matter which airplane he flew.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 39):
This is the second large Boeing aircraft lost while flying patterns for flight displays:

Actually, it was the 3rd big Boeing to crash while practicing for aero demos. The C-17A in Alaska that killed 4, the B-52H in Washington State, killing 5, and a KC-135A, killing 5, also at Fairchild AFB (the "Thunderhawks" accident). The similarities of the C-17 and B-52 crashes are shocking. The KC-135 crash is very different, it was flown through the wake turbalance of the co-demo B-52G at a very low airspeed and very low altitude. There was no room to recover.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 39):
How would the A400M have performed?

Unfortunetly, under similar conditions and the same aggressive pilot wanting to "please" the airshow crowd, it would also be lost.
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:12 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 40):
If the A-400 can be flown safely beyond the limits of the C-17, this guy would have done that in the A-400. The end results would have been the same, no matter which airplane he flew.

I guess you would have wanted to rephrase that.

If the A400 can be flown safely beyond the limits of the C-17, the A400 will still be safe.

Airbus is actually doing flight displays like that routinely, which they would never do if it was that risky:

YouTube - A319 Rock´n Roll Take off
YouTube - A340 600 Demo Flight Le Bourget 2001
YouTube - Airbus A380 Berlin Airshow

Some of these look insane, but they are all quite safe as far as I'm aware.

As far as I'm aware, the A400M inherits the same flight logic and should effectively behave the same (within its own performance limits). So we'll see the same kind of display with it as well, without the pilots breaking a sweat.

EDIT: Apparently, they've already started doing that:

YouTube - ILA 2010: Airbus A400M in action

Under normal conditions the pilot should just be able to rely on the limits: Taking off and yanking the stick back to its rear stop just lets the plane climb as fast as it safely can. Similar for other maneuvers.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 40):
Unfortunetly, under similar conditions and the same aggressive pilot wanting to "please" the airshow crowd, it would also be lost.

Not quite. On an FBW Airbus the pilot would have had to explicitly yank the breakers of the flight computers (physically or by explicit reconfiguration via software) in order to break out of the envelope.

Such an attempt at actively compromising flight safety would almost certainly be immediately career-ending for the pilot.

On the C-17 the pilot could in fact just choose to apply a bit more pressure to the stick (hey, it could have been inadvertent!) and choose to ignore the stall warning a little bit longer to get the plane out of control. Not difficult, just a transient mistake could be enough. Apparently in the case linked above he thought that he knew what he was doing, and apparently it just wasn't so.

In the Airbus he and his crew would likely have survived, possibly at the cost of overshooting their loopback turn a little bit because the plane would just not have gone beyond what it knew to be safe.

The caveat, as far as I understand it, is that the Airbus FBW may still get kicked beyond the envelope boundaries if it's confronted with both a pilot pushing it right to its limits and windshear overcoming its recovery capabilities. The automatic protections need some room for their corrections, and I expect that severe enough windshear would still be dangerous – I'm pretty sure extreme maneuvers like the demo flights above are only ever attempted when the air is still enough.

And, of course, CFIT and other mistakes can still result in disaster. Airbus FBW is of course not 100% failsafe, just protecting from a certain class of mistakes.

For the A400M it looks plausible that it will fly under tactical conditions which may actually use such full-tilt-maneuvers every now and then (maximum climb / approaching as a moving target / threat evasion), so under these conditions you'd need even more skilled/rested/undistracted C-17 pilots than you'd need in the A400M.

How substantial that difference may be under tactical conditions, considering the respective aircraft performance etc. is certainly a relevant point, but given the various statements of pilots with concrete experience on both kinds of control systems, the difference does appear to exist.

[Edited 2011-01-13 06:53:09]
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:14 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 41):
CFIT and other mistakes can still result in disaster

Of course ... but the aircraft will always do that within the valid flight envelope  

A perfectly valid flight vector can still hit an obstacle. But that is something different than loosing height without wanting it.
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:24 pm

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 42):
Of course ... but the aircraft will always do that within the valid flight envelope

At least now that they've canceled automatic terrain following – it could have taken care of that as well!
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:23 pm

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 39):
Would the C-17 crash last year have happened with a A400M as well?

I do not think so. I do not think an A400M would have stalled in that attitude. The low speed flight performance/lift generation, and roll control are fundamentally different.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 39):
What is the ultimate banking angle if a pilot just keeps the stick at a fully deflect position?

On the A400M it is 125 deg AoB, it is double the limit of the passenger aircraft of 66.5 degrees (2.5 g).

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 39):
The crucial question is that bank angle and whether level flight CAN be maintained at even higher bank angles

No, lift need to be generated somehow.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 39):
Is there a bank angle when an Airbus aircraft will start sinking even when pulling the stick fully?

Can be at any bank angle and they can "sink", it is a descending turn.

However for a level coordinated turn at constant airspeed on the A400M, once the AoB is such that the “g” is greater than 3, the aircraft will start descending (70.5 degrees).

Quoting Klaus (Reply 41):

As far as I'm aware, the A400M inherits the same flight logic and should effectively behave the same (within its own performance limits).

The fundamentals have similar routes, however the A400M is stressed to different requirements to civil airliners, and it has a different performance and operational envelope.
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:45 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 44):
Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 39):
Is there a bank angle when an Airbus aircraft will start sinking even when pulling the stick fully?

Can be at any bank angle and they can "sink", it is a descending turn.

When pulling the stick fully?

At low bank angles the stick for vertical g-control can be left in neutral position and the aircraft never leaves leveled flight if it was leveled at the time when the stick was released to that position.

At some higher bank angle (> 60° for the A400M) the aircraft starts sinking if not corrected by pulling the stick to some degree.

And my question was whether there would be a bank angle when even pulling the stick even fully would no longer help to maintain leveled flight.

I expect it because at latest at 90° bank angle (long before the ultimate 125°) the g-commanding logic on the vertical axis no longer works at all.

As a summary we can say, that the Airbus fligth envelope protection seems like an extremely valuable asset compared to the C-17 because:

- It allows much higher limits than the C-17 has. At the ultimate 60° bank angle limit for the C-17 the A400M only just leaves the pure g-commanding area. At 60° leaving the stick simply in neutral position will 100% guarantee that the aircraft never experiences any vertical acceleration (= stays at leveled flight). The A400M top banking angle of 125° allows some very unique maneuvers (turning and escaping from a valley by jumping over a hill...see the Axalp videos to see the maneuver).

- It is a much better protection for the aircraft and the crew to bring max aircraft performance. Did somebody note that the regular USAF C-17 Aerial Demonstration program does NOT allow to achieve the maximum performance of the aircraft ("Max Perform")? It only allows to show the aircraft capabilities (copied almost word by word from the C-17 accident report). Because there is no boundary protection the maximum performance is considered as "beyond" the aircraft capabilities. Strange isn't it? I have never seen it worded so evidently. The A400M on the other side regularly on airshows and in normal operation allows showing the max performance without any problem or impact on safety.

- It is even much more warranted for a military plane than for the civil Airbus airliners.


All of these (except the dimension of limits maybe) also fully apply to the KC-30.
 
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zeke
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:13 am

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 45):

There is an assumption made by many that then A400M has the same FBW limits as the other FBW Airbus types, this is incorrect.

The bank angle limit in the A400M is 125 degrees, on the civil FBW types it is either 66.5 or 67 degrees depending on who you talk to. The g load limit on the A400M is 3g (acos (1/3)=70.5 degree level turn at constant speed), 2.5g (acos (1/2.5)=66.5 degree level turn at constant speed) on the civil types with flaps retracted.

It is possible on the civil airframes, as well as the A400M to exceed these limits, when doing so the aircraft goes from normal law into unusual attitude law which gives the pilots direct control over the flight control surfaces to recover back to normal law.

The answer to your question was already stated, it is 70.5 degrees, however dynamic manoeuvres beyond 70.5 degrees can be performed.
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kc135topboom
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:28 pm

I thought in the A-400 FBW design/programming the pilot had the authority to exceed airplane limitations, if needed. Is that not the case?

Also remember in the C-17 accident, that airplane did not stall until the co-pilot retracted the leading elge slats some 7-10 knots below the minimum airspeed to retract them (IIRC from the report the scheduled airspeed to retract the slats, on that mission was around 195 knots, but they were retracted around 186 knots). The stall was not caused solely by the excessive bank angles. The low airspeed and loss of lift devices contributed to the accident, too.

The C-17 was also at about 850' AGL, not enough room to recover.

I know the A-400 does not have leading edge slats, but the trailing edge flaps are extended slightly for the low speed/low altitude manuvers seen on YouTube. Will it stall if the flaps are retracted 10 knots, or so, below the scheduled airspeed and in a high bank angle? My guess is yes, but it is only a guess. At 850' AGL there is not a lot of room to recover from any stall.

Some of the first flight tests flown with MSN-1 were to confirm the stall margins of the A-400, but those test, like any airplane in flight testing are done at high altitude.
 
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:25 pm

Update from AW...

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...y%20To%20Take%20Only%2040%20A400Ms

"The Bundestag’s budget committee is expected to follow a proposal made by the ruling coalition to use only 40 of the 53 A400Ms the country plans to order."

"Thus, Germany will buy 53 aircraft but give 13 of them back to Airbus for remarketing."
harder than woodpecker lips...
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: General A400M Discussion Thread

Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:44 pm

Yeah, I just read the aviation week story too. It seems these remarketed German A-400s will bring in funds to Germany, and not as much for EADS.

Also in the story is the E1.5B export facility loan to EADS does not apply the the first 15 exported aircraft, including the 4 to Malaysa. That tells me EADS may have another 11 A-400s set aside for an unannounced order to someone, and not have to repay the export loans for these 15 aircraft, not including the 13 airlifters Germany is now planning to return, or maybe even not taking delivery but putting them into storage until sold again.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...2011/01/26/01.xml&headline=Germany To Take Only 40 A400Ms

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