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Airbus A400m

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A400M
Type Long-range military transport
Manufacturer Airbus Military
Status Flight testing
Cost €100 million (list price in 2003)
Actual Cost Open your wallet and repeat after me - "Help yourself"

The Airbus A400M is a four-engine turboprop military transport & tanker, designed by Airbus Military. Its maiden flight was originally scheduled for 1st quarter 2008. It actually occurred in Dec 2009. This delay has been blamed on numerous factors including:

- Airbus's lack of experience in managing large military contracts. Their subsidiaries and their parent company EADS are well used to them, but somehow all that knowledge seems to have been bypassed in favour of the airliner specialists. With predictable results.

- The aircraft being massively overweight and needing huge remedial work. Almost any new large aircraft will be overweight when the first airframes are built, but 12 tonnes?

- Spiralling costs. These have been brought on by the above two issues amongst many others; and these lead to further delays as costs are debated, leading to further costs in keeping the programme running, leading to further delays...

- Massive political bullshit and porkbarreling (if that's a word).

Discussions on ARRSE if you've got a week to waste:

"A400M to be cancelled"

"A400M not dead yet"

"A400M saga lurches on!"


Orders

Date Country Original EIS Probable EIS Orders
May 27, 2003 Germany 2010 2013? 60
May 27, 2003 France 2009 2012? 50
May 27, 2003 Spain 2011 2014? 27
May 27, 2003 UK 2010 2013? 25
May 27,2003 Turkey 2009 2012? 10
May 27, 2003 Belgium 2018 2018/19? 7
May 27, 2003 Luxembourg 2017 2018? 1
December 15, 2004 South Africa 2010 Cancelled in 2009 8
December 8, 2005 Malaysia 2013 2016? 4
Total: 184

Specifications

  • General characteristics
    • Crew: 3-4 (2 pilots, 3rd optional, 1 loadmaster)
    • Capacity: 37,000 kg (82,000 lb), 116 fully equipped troops / paratroops, up to 66 stretchers accompanied by 25 medical personnel
    • Length: 43.8 m (143 ft 8 in)
    • Wingspan: 42.4 m (139 ft 1 in)
    • Height: 14.6 m (47 ft 11 in)
    • Empty weight: 70 tonnes (154,000 lb)
    • Max takeoff weight: 130 tonnes (287,000 lb)
    • Total Internal Fuel: 46.7 tonnes (103,000 lb)
    • Max. Landing Weight: 114 tonnes (251,000 lb)
    • Max. Payload: 37 tonnes (82,000 lb))
    • Powerplant: 4× EuroProp International TP400-D6[8] turboprop, 8,250 kW (11,000 hp) each
  • Performance
    • Maximum speed: 300 knots CAS (560 km/h, 350 mph)
    • Cruise speed: Mach 0.68 - 0.72 ()
    • Initial Cruise Altitude: at MTOW: 9,000 m (29,000 ft)
    • Range: at Max. payload: 3,300 km (1,782 nmi) (long range cruise speed; reserves as per MIL-C-5011A)
    • Range at 30-tonne payload: 4,800 km (2,592 nmi)
    • Range at 20-tonne payload: 6,950 km (3,753 nmi))
    • Ferry range: 9,300 km (5,022 nmi)
    • Service ceiling: 11,300 m (37,000 ft)
    • Tactical Takeoff Distance: 940 m (3 080 ft) (aircraft weight 100 tonnes, soft field, ISA, sea level)
    • Tactical Landing Distance: 625 m (2 050 ft) (see above)
    • Turning Radius (Ground): 28.6 m