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The delivery of the A400M resumes. A 7th aircraft delivered to France

The A400M on display at the Paris Air Show (credit: Airbus Military)
The A400M on display at the Paris Air Show (credit: Airbus Military)

(B2) After the accident in Seville, May 9 (read: A400M crash in Seville), a series of tests were done to discover the origin of the problem.

Apparently an anomaly in the software, incorrectly loaded (or programmed), controlling the motors was detected and the error corrected (read: The line continues! First flight test of an A400M since the crash + below).


Six weeks after the accident, deliveries of the European military transport aircraft have therefore resumed. And the manufacturer confirmed on Friday (June 19) that Airbus Defense and Space was “about to resume deliveries of the Airbus A400M.” The day before (June 18), the Spanish aviation regulator (DGAM) had lifted “ all remaining flight restrictions on new production aircraft ».

The seventh plane for France

The General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) was therefore able to announce " having “received” the seventh production copy of the A400M Atlas military transport aircraft intended for the Air Force ». The device has the serial number MSN19. And it is improved compared to the previous ones. " In addition to the capabilities already available on previous aircraft, the MSN19 has a first ability to drop paratroopers in free fall via the rear ramp of the aircraft. »

The thirteenth aircraft for the manufacturer and therefore expected soon

This is the thirteenth production aircraft delivered out of the 174 ordered. Six have already been delivered to France, as well as two to Turkey, two to the United Kingdom, one to Germany and a first aircraft for export (to Malaysia) in March 2015.

The production plan for the year is still “under review after the accident” according to the aircraft manufacturer. But this one “ is still targeting delivery of at least 13 aircraft in 2015, with up to 4 more subject to flight test results this summer. Two planes which were awaiting delivery at the time of the accident will be delivered within a few days and a number of others are expected to follow in the coming weeks ».


The message from Airbus on June 3, detailing the breakdown

“Airbus Defense and Space has sent an Accident Information Transmission (AIT) yesterday evening (2 June) as an update to the Alert Operator Transmission (AOT) of last 19 May to all operators of the A400M. This AIT informs that the DFDR (digital flight data recorder) and CVR (cockpit voice recorder) readouts have been successfully completed and that preliminary analysis has been conducted by CITAAM with representatives from Airbus Defense and Space providing technical advice.

CITAAM confirmed that engines 1, 2 and 3 experienced power frozen after lift-off and did not respond to the crew's attempts to control the power setting in the normal way, whilst engine 4 responded to throttle demands. When the power levers were set to “flight idle” in an attempt to reduce power, the power reduced but then remained at “flight idle” on the three affected engines for the remainder of the flight despite attempts by the crew to regain power. This statement is consistent with those three engines being affected by the issue addressed with our AOT.

Preliminary analyzes have shown that all other aircraft systems performed normally and did not identify any other abnormalities throughout the flight. Accordingly, Airbus Defense and Space does not have any additional specific recommendations beyond those specified in our AOT of May 19th. »

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).