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17. December 2008

A400M: The TP400 power-plant took to the air for the first time

The TP400 power-plant developed for the A400M by EuroProp International (EPI) took to the air for the first time on 17th December 2008 on the Lockheed C-130K flight test-bed. The TP400 is installed on the inner left engine mount of the C-130K which is otherwise powered by three of the usually four Allison T56 turbopropellers. The aircraft took off at 10h44 local time from Cambridge airfield (UK) where Marshall Aerospace, which is conducting the flight test-bed trials, is based, and touched down at 11h59 local time. The flight lasted one hour and 15 minutes. 

During the flight, various flight characteristics such as aircraft basic handling and TP400 response at a thrust equivalent to the maximum power generated by each of the other T56 engines were tested to satisfaction in several aircraft configurations up to a speed of 165kts and an altitude of 8,000ft. This was a first step in the aircraft envelope opening. It will allow progress towards the completion of the approximately 50 flight test hours planned to reach sufficient maturity for the engine itself