AIRBUS DEFENCE and Space announced today that it has completed the first Ejército del Aire (EdA – Spanish Air Force) A400M. The aircraft, T.23-01 ’31-21’ (c/n 044), was rolled out of the paint shop at Seville-San Pablo Airport, Spain, yesterday, June 16, painted in full EdA colours.
After completion of the necessary ground tests, it is scheduled to make its maiden flight in mid-July. Spain has committed to 27 A400Ms, but due to budgetary constraints only plans to put 14 aircraft into service. In order to avoid penalty charges for cancellation of the remainder, it hopes to find alternative customers for them. AFD-Dave Allport