An A300-600ST Beluga transport aircraft has delivered the first central-rear fuselage for Airbus' A400M military airlifter to Getafe, Spain. This component will be integrated with the A400M's nose, wings and empennage to create a complete airframe that will be used in static testing.
The first A400M fuselage was delivered to Getafe on March 17th, 2007 for integration with the nose, wings and empennage. The 16.5 tonne, 29 meter long section is the first manufactured in Bremen, Germany and the largest Airbus structure yet carried by the Beluga aircraft. The complete aircraft designated "A/C 5000" will be used for static structural tests.
The rigorous static test programme, is scheduled to last over a year and will be carried out at the Military Transport Aircraft Division of EADS facilities in Madrid. It is designed to validate the mechanical properties and structural limits of the aircraft prior to certification. In order to achieve this A/C 5000 will, eventually, be tested to destruction.
Four more A400M fuselages are in series production in Bremen and are currently being equipped before delivery to final assembly line. The fuselages will be delivered complete, with internal systems as well as their cargo ramps and rear doors.
The different fuselage sections are produced by TAI (Turkey), Airbus (Germany), EADS Military Aircraft Systems (Germany) and Sogerma (France), in accordance with their participation in the A400M programme.
The integration of the nose with the central-rear fuselage will also take place at EADS facilities in Getafe, in the same test hangar, under the responsibility and supervision of personnel from the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Seville.