16/10/2007 18h53 PARIS, France (AFP) - European aerospace manufacturer EADS is expected to decide soon on a delay of several months for the delivery of its military transport plane the A400M, sources said on Tuesday.The new delay comes after Airbus said in July that the first flight of the A400M would be later than expected.Sources familiar with the matter said delivery of the first A400Ms to the French airforce could be moved back from October 2009 to mid-2010.At the end of September, the specialist magazine Air et Cosmos said the French defence ministry was expecting a delay of a year in deliveries.Airbus has already been battered by delays in its superjumbo A380 plane, which was finally delivered to its first customer, Singapore Airlines, on Monday.Industrial sources said the delay to the A400M was due to "slower than expected" development of the TP400 turboprop engines by the European engine company EPI, made up of France's Snecma, Germany's MTU, Britain's Rolls-Royce and Spain's ITP.EADS officials acknowledged at the beginning of the year that there were delays on the assembly line and on the date of the first flight.They said at the end of July that assembly would start at the end of August instead of the first quarter of 2007, and that the first flight was expected for mid-2008, instead of January.EADS has already written a provision of 352 million euros (498 million dollars) into its accounts to deal with the delays.The first A400M has been on the assembly line in the Spanish city of Sevilla since August 28 and trials of the electronic systems are expected to start this month, Airbus Military, which is responsible for the building of the plane, said.The Airbus Military consortium is made up of Airbus with 64.8 percent, EADS-Casa 25.8 percent, Turkey's TAI 5.2 percent and Belgium's Flabel on 4.2 percent.The first TP 400 engines should be delivered in January, which will allow test flights to begin.The A400M, the most important military industrial programme ever carried out between European partners was launched by seven countries in May 2003.Germany has ordered 60 planes, France 50, Spain 27, Britain 25, Turkey 10, Belgium 7 and Luxembourg 1.South Africa has also ordered eight planes and Malaysia four.
Quanto à maior capacidade de carga do A400M, os construtores têm o hábito de confundir - de forma voluntária - capacidades máximas e capacidades práticas. Não sou nenhum especialista mas estou à espera de ver o A400M levantar vôo com uma carga de 37 toneladas.
The first A400M airlifter, which has passed its “power-on” tests, will soon be fitted with its engines in preparation for its first flight. (Airbus Military photo)First A400M Moves to Next Assembly Station Approaching First Flight (Source: EADS; dated April 14, web-posted April 16, 2008)MADRID --- The first A400M, MSN001, has just left station 40 where all the aircraft systems’ interfaces have been connected and the electrical system has been successfully tested with power-on. These activities are in line with the current programme plan. From station 40 the aircraft has been moved to station 35 where all the systems on board will be checked for compliance with design requirements and data automatically recorded for later analysis and evaluation. This represents an important step forward as station 35 is one of the few stations left before First Flight. In previous operations undertaken at station 40, the complete airframe was assembled with the wings and the vertical and horizontal tail planes being joined to the fuselage. On this particular first aircraft, the work at this station was temporary interrupted to proceed with the required structural ground test prior to First Flight. Engine installation on MSN001 is now underway. Since delivery to FAL, intensive work around the engines has been performed following the scheduled activities: Incoming inspection, engine build up/dressing process (station 25-equipping), in which the engines are equipped with the electrical harnesses, different pipes and airframe components required prior installation on the MSN001. Normal functioning checks and power assurance have also being performed. At station 25, the flight test instrumentation is also installed on this development aircraft. Later, the four engines will be moved to station 20 for installation on the aircraft. Engine Flight Clearance activities continue and the dedicated Flying Test Bed, a modified C-130 aircraft on which a TP400 engine has been installed, is being readied to begin the flight test programme, which will begin shortly. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2007, EADS generated revenues of EUR 39.1 billion and employed a workforce of about 116,000. The Group includes the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, the world's largest helicopter supplier Eurocopter and EADS Astrium, the European leader in space programmes from Ariane to Galileo. Its Defence & Security Division is a provider of comprehensive systems solutions and makes EADS the major partner in the Eurofighter consortium as well as a stakeholder in the missile systems provider MBDA. EADS also develops the A400M through its Military Transport Aircraft Division. -ends-
Mas o Paulo Portas e a FAP (alguns!!!) não queriam!!! .
Previa-se a substituição de seis C-130H por dois A-400M, por causa do preço astronómico do avião.