24 NOVEMBER 2014


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Article from BTNews 24 NOVEMBER 2014

A400M delivered to RAF

Britain’s Royal Air Force has taken delivery of the first of 22 Airbus A400M military transport aircraft.  A formal high profile handover is expected later in the month.

The 400M is a rear loading four turboprop powered utility plane designed to part replace the Lockheed Hercules, still in production after 50 years.  A total of 173 are on order from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom plus Malaysia.  The aircraft dates from the last century and was formally announced in 2003 and first flew in 2009.

The A400M's wings are primarily carbon fibre reinforced plastic. The eight-bladed Scimitar propeller is also made from a woven composite material. The aircraft is powered by Europrop TP400-D6 engines, a joint project between MTU, Rolls-Royce and Snecma.

In load carrying terms the A400 at around 37,000kg has about half the capacity of Boeing’s C17 (the RAF has eight in service) and considerably more than the standard Hercules (20,000kg).  Interestingly a comparison can be made with the not dissimilar Shorts Belfast in terms of carryings, the RAF paying off the last of its 10 strong fleet in 1976, and then pressed back into service during the 1982 Falklands War under the banner of HeavyLift Cargo Airlines. http://militaryaircraft-airbusds.com/Aircraft/A400M/A400MAbout.aspx

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