The very first Airbus A400M went on display in the Musée Aeroscopia in Toulouse on Thursday 16 July. The aircraft, known as Grizzly 1, joins a collection of other Airbus aircraft in the museum just outside Toulouse Blagnac airport.
It was this aircraft that performed the maiden A400M flight on 11 December 2009. It flew for the last time on 4 November 2012, acquiring only 1.448 flight hours in those three years of test flying. Airbus A400M test flights are now being done with two other company test aircraft.
Tunisair has taken delivery of its first Airbus A330-200 in Toulouse on 9 June 2015.
Named “Tunis”, the wide-body aircraft flew out from Toulouse and landed at Tunis-Carthage Airport in the evening, thus joining the airline’s existing fleet of Airbus aircraft comprising four A319s and seventeen A320s. The new Tunisair A330 can accommodate 24 passengers in business class and 242 in economy class.
The A330 family, which can seat between 250 and 300 passengers, has to date recorded more than 1,400 orders. More than 1,100 aircraft of this type are already flying with more than 100 operators worldwide.
As announced, Airbus Defence & Space flew the Airbus A400M again on Tuesday 12 May, three days after the tragic crash in Sevilla that killed four Airbus employees and seriously wounded two more. A company A400M flew from Toulouse to Seville during a 1 hours 50 minutes test flight.
The head of the Airbus military division, Fernando Alonso, was on board the aircraft. According to Alonso, the crews of the crashed aircraft ‘would have wanted A400M flight test to continue. Flight done. It’s our tribute.’ Airbus said the aircraft performed normally and all scheduled tests were completed.
Airbus on Sunday already said it would continue flying the transport aircraft, to show the company’s faith in the airplane. Airbus has not responded to claims that engines failures led to Saturday’s crash, which involved a brand new A400M on its first test flight. The aircraft was intended for delivery to Turkey.
Banned Meanwhile, Spanish authorities are said to have banned test flying with aircraft currenlty in production in Sevilla. The aircraft that flew today, is a development aircraft owned by Airbus.
The type is however still grounded by the air forces of the UK, Germany, Turkey and Malaysia. Airbus has promised full transparancy in the investigation into the fatal crash, but on the other hands has not released any formal press statements since Saturday.
The first 242 tonne Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) variant of the A330 successfully completed its maiden flight on Monday 12 January, landing back in Toulouse-Blagnac Airport following a 3 hours and 30 minutes flight.
The A330 242 tonne MTOW is the platform for the future A330neo and is concrete example of Airbus’ incremental innovation strategy. The newest enhancement offers more capability at lower operating cost with a range extended by up to 500 nautical miles and up to two percent reduced fuel consumption while also benefiting from operational reliability of above 99 percent. The 242 tonne MTOW is capable of flying missions up to 15 hours.
Didier Evrard, Airbus Executive Vice President Head of Programmes said: “We are on track to deliver this new higher weight variant in 2015 to launch customer Delta Air Lines, who will also be the launch customer for the A330neo.”
The A350 XWB MSN2 completed successfully the so-called two “Early Long Flights” with passengers operated consecutively by Air France and Lufthansa cabin crews on 2 and 3 June 2014.
Early Long Flights not part of the technical certification program, but are helpful in getting the A350’s into service. The flights allow Airbus to assess the cabin environment and systems in flight ahead of final certification.
Both A350 XWB Early Long Flights took off from and landed in Toulouse. The first flight, a day time flight, took place on 2 June and lasted seven hours, while the second one, an overnight flight lasting twelve hours, left Toulouse on Tuesday 3 June and landed on 4 June.
During the flights, 500 passengers, comprising Airbus employees, and some 30 cabin experts from Airbus and equipment manufacturers, were first to experience the comfort of the A350 XWB. During the flights these early passengers were tasked to try out and test the A350 XWB cabin systems, including air conditioning, lighting, acoustics, in-flight entertainment (IFE), galleys, electrics, toilets and water waste systems.
The Early Long Flights were carried out with MSN2, one of the two A350 XWB test aircraft fitted with a cabin and which seats 252 passengers in a comfortable business and economy layout. These flights were operated as any standard airline service.
The first four A350s now flying have together accumulated around 1900 Flight test hours and over 440 flights. The flight-test fleet will be completed with the fifth aircraft, MSN005, in the coming weeks.
The A350 XWB is Airbus’ all-new mid-size long-range product line comprising three versions covering a wide range of capacities from 276 to 369 seats. At the end of May 2014, the A350 XWB had won 812 orders from 39 customers worldwide.