A400M production advances
Two delivery milestones for the A400M underscore the continuing production progress for Airbus' new-generation military transport aircraft.
The Airbus Bremen, Germany site this month delivered the 32-metre long fuselage for the first A400M that is to fly. Its four sections arrived in Bremen as fuselage shells or as complete components from partner companies in Turkey and South Africa, as well as from Lemwerder, Nordenham and Augsburg.
They were joined together in a riveting facility and then equipped with all flight-essential systems, including electrical wiring and cables; oxygen, air and water pipes; and the entire hydraulics system. Some 120 kilometres of cabling and 500 metres of hydraulic lines were installed in the fuselage.
This A400M fuselage was the second delivered by Bremen. The previous one was sent last May from Germany to Spain for ground-based static tests.
In another milestone, outer wing sections for the first flight A400M were flown from Filton in the U.K. to Seville, Spain aboard an Airbus A300-600ST Beluga during August. The outer wings will be joined with the centre wing box, and the complete wing structure - with a span of over 42 metres - will then be mated to the fuselage.
Separately, the delivery of a full-scale-test vertical tail plane from Stade to Hamburg represents another important step in the A400M programme. It marks the start of the test operation phase. After preparation, the vertical tail plane will be installed on a test rig in late September.