The Airbus Military A400M has touched down in Santiago de Chile, where this next-generation airlifter will take centre stage at FIDAE (Feria Internacional del Aire y del Espacio) – Latin America’s largest air show, held this year from 27 March to 1 April. The arrival in Chile – representing the A400M’s first in the region as part of flight testing – also concluded the aircraft’s milestone 1,000th flight, which followed high altitude evaluations at Cochabamba, Bolivia.
News in brief
The A400M arrives for its “starring role” at the FIDAE air show
The A330 MRTT showcases its compatibility with United Arab Emirates fighter aircraft
Airbus Military has successfully demonstrated the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport’s (MRTT) refuelling compatibility with Mirage 2000 and F-16 Block 60 fighter jets – which are the primary aircraft types to be supported by A330 MRTTs in future service with the United Arab Emirates Air Force. This receiver qualification was achieved through a series of flight tests performed in Abu Dhabi, which included air-to-air refuelling at speeds throughout the flight envelope; at a range of altitudes; and in turns, climbs and descents as well as level flight. The United Arab Emirates has three A330 MRTTs on order, with delivery of the nation’s first two aircraft scheduled for this year.
Final assembly begins for the second series production A400M airlifter
The second series production A400M is now taking shape inside Airbus Military’s Seville, Spain final assembly line. This activity was kicked off in February with integration of the aircraft’s wings and central wing-box, followed by arrival of the A400M’s other main components – including its vertical and horizontal tailplanes, nose and fuselage – in Seville from European production facilities. This will be the second A400M delivered to the French Air Force, which is to receive the aircraft in 2013.
I-4D receives the “Enabling Technology Award” for air traffic management excellence
The Airbus-developed I-4D (initial four-dimensional) system has been recognised for technological excellence by leading information provider IHS Jane's, underscoring its capabilities for improving the efficiency of air traffic management operations worldwide. I-4D - which is a cornerstone of the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) programme - utilises a new-generation system for enhanced arrival flow management, improved flight punctuality and more capacity, and its first flight tests were completed in February using an A320 test aircraft. The "Enabling Technology Award" was received by Airbus and its partners Eurocontrol Maastricht and Noracon at the Canso Air Traffic Management dinner this month in Amsterdam.
Airbus’ John Leahy receives the highest civil decoration in France
In recognition of his contributions to aviation, Airbus Chief Operating Officer – Customers John Leahy has been named an “Officer” of the French Legion of Honour – which is the country’s highest civil decoration. Leahy joined Airbus in 1995, and has led a commercial team that has sold 80 per cent of all aircraft ever built by the company. The prestigious Legion of Honour medal was presented to Leahy by EADS CEO Louis Gallois during a ceremony held this month in Toulouse.
Malaysia Airlines provides first glimpse of A380 in new livery
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) today revealed the design and specifications for its new A380, featuring a bright new livery and luxurious cabin layout.
The aircraft will accommodate 494 passengers in a three class configuration, seating eight passengers in First Class, 66 in Business Class and 420 in Economy. All seats are fitted with the latest individual in-flight entertainement systems, USB ports and satellite telephone facilities.
MAS Group CHief Executive Office, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said, ' The A380 will showcase our latest premium offering in products and services. This will be our flagship aircraft to launch our exciting new levels of comfort, luxury and convenience in long haul travel'.
Altogether, MAS has order six A380s. The carrier is set to become the eighth operator of the aircraft when it begins commercial service with the type between Kuala Lumpur and London in July.
For more information on the MAS A380, visit www.malaysiaairlines.com/myA380
The King of Spain becomes first head of state to fly in Airbus Military’ A400M
King Juan Carlos I of Spain has become the first head of state to fly in Airbus Military’s new-generation A400M military airlifter. With Airbus Chief Test Pilot Military Edward Strongman and Experimental Test Pilot Ignacio Lombo, the King of Spain made a local flight of some 40 minutes from the Torrejón base near Madrid. During the flight, the King – who is qualified as a military pilot – took control of the aircraft for 20 minutes at an altitude of around 10,000 ft. and performed a series of manoeuvres, including turns and a simulated delivery of humanitarian supplies.
Airbus Military A330 MRTTs fly in formation
Three A330 MRTTs (Multi Role Tanker Transports) destined for different customers recently completed a formation flight in the skies above Spain. The lead aircraft, located furthest from the camera in the accompanying photo (at left) will join the UK Royal Air Force, where it is to be known as Voyager as part of the Future Strategic Transport Aircraft (FSTA) programme; the middle aircraft is the original development example which eventually will enter service with the Royal Australian Air Force; and the aircraft nearest the camera is the second A330 MRTT for the United Arab Emirates air force.
First A400M for the French Air Force takes shape in Seville
The first Airbus Military A400M for the French Air Force is taking shape in Seville, Spain, where its final assembly line is located. The final assembly process for this aircraft started last November. The nose and fuselage are already integrated and the aircraft was recently moved, on its landing gear, to the workstation in which the structural assembly is carried out. Integration works for the wing started last week and both the horizontal and the vertical tailplanes, which have already been mated, have just been moved to the final assembly station, known as Station 40, with the rest of the aircraft. The A400M will then be powered up for the first time before the aircraft is moved to the Ground System Tests area.
A330 production rate is at an all-time high
The production of Airbus’ A330 reached a rate of nine per month in January, bringing the output of this popular twin-engine jetliner to a record rate in meeting international demand. Assembly of the A330 is performed in Toulouse, France, with Airbus planning a further ramp-up to 9.5 aircraft monthly. The A330 is operated in passenger and freighter versions, along with its use as a multi-role military aerial refueling platform and airlifter. As of year-end 2011, Airbus had booked orders for 1,186 A330s, of which 837 had been delivered.