Farnborough Air Show

A400M prototype Bears a new name

 - July 19, 2010, 11:44 AM

So the A400M is now named the Grizzly. Or is it? Upon closer investigation, yesterday’s christening ceremony may not have conferred a definitive moniker on Europe’s new airlifter. Airbus Military spokeswoman Barbara Kracht told AIN that the bearish name applies only to the flight test aircraft. For the moment. “Maybe it will become official, eventually,” she said.

And yes, those large yellow footprints painted all over the show walkways are part of the same story. A spokesperson for the show organizers confirmed to AIN that this was no guerrilla marketing scheme. “Airbus Military asked us for permission to do this about a week ago. We have sold them our tarmac,” she said. The trouble is, if you follow the footprints, you don’t actually “Get Up Close to a Grizzly,” as the painted legend promises. The A400M in the static park is quite some distance from the nearest marked walkway.

Anyway, what’s wrong with Liftmaster, the name for the A400M that was suggested by now-retired Airbus Military marketing manager David Jennings? No one that AIN spoke to last night even liked the name Grizzly. We think that should give Airbus Military paws for thought.