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Touching the Airbus A400M, in real life, is possible…

(BRUSSELS2) (At the Istres air base) At the Defense summer universities – which take place Monday and Tuesday – in the south of France, the star guest of the “static” exhibition was undoubtedly the 'Airbus A400M, massive, low on wheels and instantly recognizable by its propellers.

The main officials, national and European (such as the president of the defense committee of the National Assembly, Guy Teissier, or the head of the CMPD, Claude-France Arnould) thus saw with their own eyes, touched the carcass, sitting in the pilot's seat of the brand new European transport plane, still smelling of brand new plastic and sheet metal.

© NGV / Brussels2

« An aircraft derived from the A380 to which many military functions have been added » explains Michel Cagneux, one of the test pilots of the European plane. “For example, we asked to be able to have a vision outside”. Hence this small translucent screen which allows pilots to follow the road at the same time as observing outside. I was also able to sit in these seats, it's impressive.

© NGV / Brussels2

The cockpit will be equipped with “living” functions with two berths and a kitchen, allowing the crew to stay in the plane for several days. As for the hold, it will be able to accommodate 30 tonnes of cargo. But, for the moment, it is full of electronic devices allowing the tests to be finalized. “Be careful of the wires”…

© NGV / Brussels2

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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