Thursday, June 21, 2007

A400M engine testing falling behind schedule

But what the heck, we should still consider buying the A400M instead of the C-130J. I wonder if Daniel Leblanc of the Globe and Mail and David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen will even be aware of the latest news.
Redesign of A400M's TP400 engine forces first flight delay

The target date for the first flight of the Europrop International (EPI) TP400-D6 turboprop has slipped into the fourth quarter of this year after the engine consortium was forced to redesign some mechanical components that encountered higher than expected loads during bench testing.

A development engine suffered oil contamination during ground testing earlier this year, but the source of the problem could not be traced, it emerged at the Paris air show this week.

Meanwhile, moving to limit the impact of propulsion system delays to the A400M project, Airbus Military has revealed plans to add a sixth aircraft to compress its previously planned 18-month flight-test campaign for the transport.

EPI expects to hand over the flight-test engine "before the end of June", says TP400 programme and operations director Jacques Desclaux. "The forecast is to have the first flight between October and December, depending on the integration issues."

The flight trials are to be performed by Cambridge, UK-based Marshall Aerospace using a modified Lockheed Martin C-130. Under the original schedule EPI had been due to deliver the first flightworthy TP400 in November 2006.

"Today there is enough of a buffer before impacting the [A400M] first flight," says Desclaux [and I have some really nice land in Florida for you - MC]...

Airbus Military says it "remains very confident of achieving first flight and first delivery of the A400M on schedule", referring to goals of the first quarter of next year and late 2009 respectively. "The addition of the sixth flight-test aircraft will bring flexibility to the programme."

Final assembly activities at EADS Casa's Seville site in southern Spain are expected to start later this year, with the work having been postponed from late March as a risk-reduction measure. "We've learnt from the A380 [airliner] programme that you shouldn't start final assembly when there are gaps in the programme," says an Airbus Military source.
H/t to Paul Hughes.

And here's a report from the civilian front at the Paris Air Show.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

this part is the best . .

"Airbus Military says it "remains very confident of achieving first flight and first delivery of the A400M on schedule","

so we know the A400M program was out of budget & Schedule slips - EADS reported that last year as part of the A380 fiasco "Power 8' review.

Now the stuck on stupid folks say a major slippage in the engine program will have no impact on the program.

That means they expect us to believe the engines are OFF the critical path and the delay will NOT have a financial impact.

With this kind of stupidity, it is no wonder the the folks at Airburst can't build a plane that is not overweight, over budget and delivered late

11:17 a.m., June 21, 2007  
Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

Fred, drop me a line when you get a moment.

3:53 p.m., June 21, 2007  

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