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Airbus Military touts A400M performance

Sept. 6, 2013 at 5:51 PM

MADRID, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Airbus Military's A400M transport has completed a series of takeoffs and landings on gravel runways to demonstrate harsh-environment performance.

The demonstrations, conducted in northern Spain, lasted more than a week and involved a total of 25 landings, the company said.

Maneuvers by the A400M testing aircraft, the MSN2, included ground movements, takeoffs and landings, rejected takeoffs and use of propeller reverse thrust.

"The trials confirmed that despite the harsh conditions, damage to the aircraft exterior from stones and dust was minimal and within expectations, and the runway remained usable after repeated operations," Airbus Military said.

Testing showed there was no engine contamination from the reverse-thrust operation on the gravel runway.

"We are extremely pleased with the results of these tests which were very close to all predictions and confirm the A400M´s capability to operate successfully from gravel runways," said Eric Isorce, head of A400M flight tests.

The A400M is a four-engine turboprop designed for tactical airlift. A total of 179 of the aircraft have been ordered by eight nations. The first was delivered to France this year.

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