MADRID, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Airbus Military's A400M airlifter completed Function and Reliability flight-testing for full civil and military certification by European aviation authorities.
Airbus Military said test data are being examined certification authorities and the company expects to full civil certification and approval for military initial operating capability early next year.
Deliveries of the first four A400M aircraft to the French air force will begin in the second quarter of 2013.
"During this F&R campaign the A400M has really been put through its paces," said Airbus Military Head of Flight and Integration Tests Fernando Alonso. "It has flown an average of two flights and 15 flight hours per day over a 26-day timeframe with only six days devoted to routine maintenance activities.
"The crews have been greatly impressed with the performance of the on-board systems and engines and we are confident that we have a sound basis for completing the civil and military certification in the next couple of months."
The F&R testing totaled more than 300 hours and comprised 52 flights for evaluation of the aircraft's behavior in conditions representative of normal in-service experience, including both routine and simulated abnormal operations in a wide range of weather and locations.