Tag Archives: A400M

Delivery surge ends dramatic year for Airbus A400M

Airbus delivered a significant number of A400M military transport aircraft to costumers in December, bringing to an end a year marked by the fatal crash of an A400M in Seville on 9 May. The program seems to have overcome the tragedy however.

In December, Germany received both its second and third A400M, while France took delivery of its eight aircraft. Also, Turkey and Malaysia got their hands on their third and second aircraft respectively. The latter was handed over to the Royal Malaysian Air Force in Seville on Wednesday 23 December and will head East soon.


The crash in May – caused by engine-related software issues – brought delays in deliveries, but Airbus was quick to pick up the pace. Following the crash, test and developments flights were halted. Flights restarted in June, in time for the A400M to participate in the Paris Air Show. It gave Airbus the opportunity to show its faith in a program that is plagued by criticism from the Germans in particular.

Royal Air Force

The year 2015 saw four deliveries to the Royal Air Force (RAF), who declared the A400M Atlas C1 ‘ready for worldwide tasks’ last September. Meanwhile, Airbus reports it is making progress in assembling the first aircraft for Spain.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): The third Turkish A400M in Seville. (Image © Paweł Bondaryk)

Grounded after crash, Turkish A400M hopes for January

The Turkish Air Force hopes to restart flight operations with its Airbus A400M Atlas tactical airlifters in January 2016. Not with the first two aircraft delivered, but with no. 3 only.

The third Atlas was handed over to the Türk Hava Kuvvetleri (THK) at the end of last week. The Turkish mechanics and experts are now going through loads of additional acceptance checks to assure it is ready to be officially fielded after the new year started.

Turkish A400M crash

Quick calculators may wonder: what happened with the first two THK airlifters. Well, they were grounded following the crash of what was already supposed to be the third Turkish A400M on 9 May 2015. Deemed unreliable the first two Turkish Atlas’s have been sent back to Spain for retrofitting and software updates.

Atlas expected

Turkey has 10 A400Ms on ordered. The final Atlas is expected in 2018, but the program already ran into lengthy delays even before the 2014 A400M crash in Sevilla (Seville).

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: The third Turkish A400M in Seville in the end of October 2015. Special thanks to Paweł Bondaryk for making this photo available to us (Image © Paweł Bondaryk)

Germans get second A400M and eye A330 tanker

Close to year after delivery of the first aircraft, Airbus on Wednesday 2 December 2015 said it has delivered the second A400M transport aircraft to Germany. Planned to take five aircraft this year, Germany so far has only two A400Ms at its disposal. Berlin fined Airbus 14 million USD for the delay.

According to Airbus, a third A400M is to be delivered shortly. The A400M program met a lot of critics in Germany. The air force is forced to keep its old C-160 cargo aircraft in service for longer because of the difficulties. However, in April the Germans took the type on its first international flight.

The year 2015 was a tough one for Airbus and its A400M, following the fatal crash in Seville in May. The cause of the crash was found quickly however, enabling Airbus to get back on track in a short period of time.


Meanwhile, Germany is seriously thinking about joining the Netherlands, Poland and Norway in the European joint tanker effort. At least four Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT)  should form a fleet shared by those countries.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest

US approves French Super Hercules buy

The US State Departement has approved the sale of two Lockheed Martin C-130J transport and two KC-130J tanker aircraft to France, it reported on Tuesday 10 November. The sale also involves Electronic Countermeasure Dispensers, Missile Warning Systems, Radar Warning Receivers plus communication and navigation equipment. Estimated worth: 650 million USD.

The C-130J Super Hercules aircraft will provide critical transport, airdrop, and resupply to French troops in support of current and future operations. The tanker will provide an air refueling capability to France’s fighter aircraft, light transport aircraft, and helicopters, the State Departement says.

The French interest in additional Hercules aircraft came to light earlier this year, following the fatal crash of an Airbus A400M, the new transport aircraft that also sees operation in France. The country also already operates C-130H and CN-235 transporters.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A French Air Force C-130H. (Image © Dennis Spronk)

Airbus: progress on first A400M for Spain

The wings for the first Airbus A400M airlifter for the Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire) arrived at the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in San Pablo, Seville (Spain), Airbus Defence & Space reported on on Wednesday 14 October.

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 one of 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. Spain will be the sixth user of the A400M, following France, the UK, Malaysia, Turkey and Germany.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Dennis Spronk
Featured image: The wings are off loaded in Seville. (Image © Airbus)