A400M makes maiden flight

The first production Airbus Military A400M new generation airlifter has made its maiden flight, marking a key milestone towards its delivery to the French Air Force.

The aircraft, known as MSN7, took off from Seville, Spain, at 11:48 local time (GMT+1) and landed back in Seville 5 hours and 42 minutes later.

Experimental Test Pilot Hugues Van Der Stichel, who captained the flight, said after landing: “The performance of the aircraft was as expected and we had a very smooth flight, confirming the great handling capabilities of the aircraft. The result of this first flight gives us full confidence for the on-time delivery to the French Air Force”.

USAF Selects Super Tucano

The U.S. Air Force has selected the Embraer A-29 Super Tucano for its Light Air Support (LAS) program.

The aircraft will be supplied in partnership with the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) as the prime contractor and will be used to conduct advanced flight training, aerial reconnaissance and light air support operations.

The Embraer Defense and Security and SNC won the contract after a thorough rebidding process by the USAF.

The USD 427 million contract is for 20 Light Air Support (LAS) aircraft, as well as ground-based equipment to support pilot training and all maintenance/supply requirements. The aircraft will be built in Jacksonville, Florida.

A330 for Saudi Air Force

The Royal Saudi Air Force has taken delivery of an Airbus Military A330 MRTT new generation tanker/transport.

The aircraft is the first of three aircraft on order. Deliveries of a second batch of three which were subsequently ordered will begin at the end of 2014.

They will be used to refuel RSAF fighters including the F-15, Typhoon and Tornado.

The A330 MRTTs have now been delivered to all four current customers – Australia, Saudi Arabia, UAE and UK.