AIRBUS DEFENCE and Space confirmed in an announcement on September 6, that the first Airbus A400M new generation airlifter ordered by the Ejército del Aire (EdA – Spanish Air Force) has made its maiden flight. The aircraft, EC-400/T.23-01 ‘31-21’ (c/n 044) took to the air for the first time on September 5, at 1525hrs local time from Seville-San Pablo Airport, Spain, where the A400M Final Assembly Line is located.
It landed back at the Airport 3hrs 45mins later. Test-Pilot Nacho Lombo, who captained the flight, said after landing: “As always, the aircraft was a pleasure to fly. I am confident that its unique combination of strategic and tactical capabilities will have a transformational effect on the Spanish Air Force’s air mobility operations as it has done in other countries already.” The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered in the next few weeks.
As previously reported in AFM, this aircraft had been rolled out of the paint shop on June 16 and began its first taxi trials on September 1. It will be operated by Ala 31 at Zaragoza