Wings for First Spanish Air Force A400M Arrive in Seville
The wings for the first Airbus A400M new generation airlifter for the Spanish Air Force have arrived at the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in San Pablo, Seville. These first large elements of the aircraft, known as MSN44, were transported by ship from the UK where they were made to St Nazaire, France and then flown to Seville inside a specially designed giant Airbus Beluga aircraft. MSN44 will shortly enter into the final assembly process in preparation for its delivery to the Spanish Air Force in the second quarter of 2016.
The picture shows the wings being unloaded from the open nose of the Beluga into the FAL through a set of doors shaped around the contours of the Beluga.
The A400M is the most versatile airlifter currently available responding to the most varied needs of world Air Forces and other organizations in the 21st century. It can perform three very different types of duties: it is able to perform both tactical missions directly to the point of need and long range strategic/logistic ones.
The A400M can also serve as an air-to-air refueling “tanker”. Powered by four unique counter-rotating Europrop International (EPI) TP400 turboprop powerplants, the A400M offers a wide flight envelope in terms of both speed and altitude. It is the ideal airlifter to fulfill the most varied requirements of any nation around the globe in terms of military, humanitarian and any other “civic” mission for the benefit of society.
The A400M was launched in 2003 to respond to the combined needs of seven European Nations regrouped within OCCAR (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Spain, Turkey and the UK), with Malaysia joining in 2005. This is one of the major reasons for its extreme versatility. Its maiden flight took place on 11th December 2009.
The A400M has been rigorously designed to meet the equipment transport needs of modern armed forces. The A400M can perform missions which previously required two - or more - different types of aircraft, and which even then provided an imperfect solution. Its fuselage external width of 5.64 meters / 18 ft 6 in is equal to that of the A330/A340 wide-body. Its cargo hold has an inside usable width of four meters / 13ft, height of up to four meters / 13ft, and usable length of 17.71 meters / 58 ft.
Airbus Defence and Space is a division of Airbus Group formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military. The new division is Europe’s number one defense and space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide and among the top ten global defense enterprises. It employs more than 38,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €13 billion per year.
Photo: The wings being unloaded from the open nose of the Beluga into the FAL through a set of doors shaped around the contours of the Beluga.