Airbus Military has received the initial type certification for the A400M.
May 4: Airbus Military has received the initial type certification for the A400M new generation airlifter, marking a key milestone on the road to first delivery at the end of the year.
This first approval, known as a Restricted Type Certificate (RTC), was presented by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Executive Director Patrick Goudou at an internal ceremony today in Toulouse, France.
The RTC is a critical step towards the award of full civil type certification, which is expected in mid-2012 following the completion of 300 hours of function and reliability (F&R) flight tests, and towards military Initial Operating Clearance (IOC) later in the year.
As part of the flight-test activity the A400M has recently visited countries in Latin America and South East Asia, and in the upcoming period will travel to the ‘home’ nations that ordered the aircraft and the Middle East in the frame of the F&R tests. At present one aircraft is at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire for a series of short trials.
The fleet of five A400M development aircraft has now completed more than 3,100 hours in the air, despite continued engine challenges. Cedric Gautier, Airbus Military Head of A400M programme, said: “Achieving civil and military certification of the A400M as foreseen in the programme is an immensely challenging task, but the process of working on both simultaneously provides important benefits for our customers in the future. It is deeply satisfying to receive this initial certification, confirming the good progress that has been made towards the delivery of the first aircraft.”