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Second A400M military airlifter has made its maiden flight

Known as MSN2, the aircraft took off from Seville, Spain with a take-off weight off 128t at 15.15 local time (GMT +2) and landed back at Seville four hours and 50 minutes later.

Experimental Test Pilot Michel Gagneux captained the flight, supported by Experimental Test Pilot Karl-Heinz Mai. The crew also included Flight Test Engineers Jean-Jacques Bernard and Emiliano Requena; and Test Flight Engineer Gerard Maisonneuve. The crew confirmed that the aircraft and its four Europrop International TP400D turboprop engines performed in line with expectations.

MSN2 joins its sister-ship MSN1 which has already completed 66h30 flight hours in 15 flights, and is now based at Toulouse.

Airbus head of flight operations Fernando Alonso said: "Having MSN2 join the flying programme is excellent news and will help us accelerate the rate of progress in building flight-hours. This flight confirmed what we have seen with MSN1 already - that this is a highly capable aircraft with the potential to transform military and civic transport operations."

MSN2 is the second of an eventual five aircraft which will conduct the 3,700 hour flight-test programme leading to first delivery. Like MSN1, it carries heavy flight-test instrumentation. It will be primarily dedicated to aircraft and powerplant performance testing while MSN1 continues to be used for clearance of the aircraft and powerplant flight envelope, loads, flutter, and handling qualities development. The third A400M aircraft is expected to fly by the beginning of the summer and the fourth around the end of the year.

A total of 184 aircraft have so far been ordered by Belgium France, Germany, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Press release issued by Airbus Military on April 9, 2010


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