UK Pilot Comments on Flying the A400M


06/02/2011: In a brief during the Airbus Military Trade media event, the A400M head test pilot, Ed Strongman, provided an update on the status of the flight test program.  Over the past 18 months there have seen significant flight-testing within the program. As of May 10, 2011, 55 pilots have flown the A400M.  These pilots include, Airbus pilots, EASA and CQP pilots and pilots from several Customer Air Forces, including Germany, the UK, France and Turkey. And to date, there have 490 flights and 1580 hours of flight testing.  There have been 880 take-off and landings of the aircraft through mid-May.

Among the many flight tests have been testing the flight envelope and handling qualities, various aero configurations have been tested to optimize local flow characteristics, ice testing and cold weather testing, various performance tests, structural tests, basic aircraft systems testing, powerplant testing, testing of various military systems, such as ramp and door operation and paratroop doors operation, night vision goggle operation, enhanced vision system, military radar, unprepared runway operations, formation flight testing to verify flight control capabilities, and AAR dry contacts behind an RAF VC10.