Airbus Claims Technical Progress with A400M
Anxious to demonstrate progress toward a first flight, Airbus Military will hold another technical press briefing on the troubled A400M airlifter in Spain next week. Ahead of the meeting, the company told AIN that Europrop had delivered Fadec software for the TP400 engines, so that system integration tests could proceed on the so-called “iron bird” test rig in Toulouse, France. AIN has also learned that only two more flights of the C-130 engine testbed are required at Marshalls’ airfield in Cambridge, UK. A further edition of the Fadec software should then follow to Toulouse and Seville, France, where Airbus now says that the A400M should get airborne “at the turn of the year.” In its half-year results statement, EADS warned that it could not quantify the additional amount that it will have to write off on the A400M, pending the outcome of negotiations with the seven European partner nations. They have agreed to allow Airbus a further six months to demonstrate progress and renegotiate the contract, ending in December. Meanwhile, Thales wrote off €102 million ($149.2 million) for its part of the A400M, including the problematic flight management system. Thales said it would seek compensation from Airbus.