Last week of October has been a record week for the A400M flight test. After some weeks where flying activities were much reduced because of maintenance and performance improvement works, the three Grizzlies have waked up stronger and have recovered in one shot their target schedule. As result of this effort, some records have been reached. The two first records are number of flights (20) and flying hours (62) in a week. These figures pushed total number of flights to 230 and total number of flying hours to 773.5. On the other hand, MSN002 reached 100 flights and catch MSN001, ending the week with a total of 97 flights.
During the first week of August the Grizzlies reached 500 flying hours, comprising almost 150 flights since the first flight of MSN (Manufacturer’s Serial Number) 001 past 11 December 2009. MSN001 flew 80 times, MSN002 flew 56 and MSN003, with the first flight being held past 09 July, already flew 11 times. During this time, the Grizzlies have participated with great success in the Berlin ILA Show (MSN001) and in Farnborough International Airshow (MSN002) where a formal naming ceremony was also held. The three first prototypes are in flight, with the forth aircraft being assembled in Seville, planning for its first flight at the end of the year. The plan includes five prototypes for test activities. Two crews from Nations have already participated in test flights.
The MSN001, the first A400M prototype, landed on Tuesday 09 March in a very cold afternoon, in the runways of Toulouse Airport, in a direct flight from Seville (Spain). The aircraft is heavy instrumented with 22 tonnes of Flight Test Instrumentation (FTI). MSN001 new home will be Hangar M90 in Airbus St Martin-du-Touch premises, near Toulouse, where will continue with the flight test campaign. So far 10 flights and almost 40 hours of flights have been made.