Tag Archives: Airbus

Armstrong Line

Airbus Perlan Mission II, the world’s first initiative to pilot an engineless aircraft to the edge of space, made history again yesterday in El Calafate, Argentina, by soaring in the stratosphere to a pressure altitude of over 62,000 feet/18,898 m (60,669 feet/18,492 m GPS altitude). This set a new gliding altitude world record, pending official validation.

Airbus Perlan Mission II soars to over 62,000 feet/18,898 m, setting second altitude world record and crossing Armstrong Line (Airbus photo)
Airbus Perlan Mission II soars to over 62,000 feet/18,898 m, setting second altitude world record and crossing Armstrong Line (Airbus photo)

The pressurized Perlan 2 glider, which is designed to soar up to 90,000 feet/27,432 m, passed the Armstrong Line, the point in the atmosphere above which an unprotected human’s blood will boil if an aircraft loses pressurization.

This marks a second glider altitude world record for Jim Payne and Morgan Sandercock, the same two Perlan Project pilots who soared the Perlan 2 to 52,221 feet/15,917 m GPS altitude on September 3, 2017, in the same remote region of Argentine Patagonia. The 2017 record broke a previous record that was set in 2006, in the unpressurized Perlan 1, by Perlan Project founder Einar Enevoldson and Steve Fossett.

«This is a tremendous moment for all the volunteers and sponsors of Airbus Perlan Mission II who have been so dedicated to making our nonprofit aerospace initiative a reality», said Ed Warnock, CEA of The Perlan Project. «Our victory today, and whatever other milestones we achieve this year, are a testament to a pioneering spirit of exploration that runs through everyone on the project and through the organizations that support us».

«Innovation is a buzzword in aerospace today, but Perlan truly embodies the kind of bold thinking and creativity that are core Airbus values», said Tom Enders, Airbus CEO. «Perlan Project is achieving the seemingly impossible, and our support for this endeavor sends a message to our employees, suppliers and competitors that we will not settle for being anything less than extraordinary».

Another first-of-its kind achievement this year for the Perlan Project was the use of a special high-altitude tow plane rather than a conventional glider tow plane. During yesterday’s flight, Perlan 2 was towed to the base of the stratosphere by a Grob Egrett G520 turboprop, a high-altitude reconnaissance plane that was modified for the task earlier this summer. Operated by AV Experts, LLC, and flown by chief pilot Arne Vasenden, the Egrett released Perlan 2 at around 42,000 feet/12,802 m, the approximate service ceiling of an Airbus A380.

To soar into the highest areas of Earth’s atmosphere, Perlan 2 pilots catch a ride on stratospheric mountain waves, a weather phenomenon created when rising air currents behind mountain ranges are significantly strengthened by the polar vortex. The phenomenon occurs only for a brief period each year in just a few places on earth. Nestled within the Andes Mountains in Argentina, the area around El Calafate is one of those rare locations where these rising air currents can reach to 100,000 feet/30,480 m or more.

Built in Oregon and home-based in Minden, Nevada, the pressurized Perlan 2 glider incorporates a number of unique innovations to enable its mission, and reached an altitude of 62,000 feet/18,898 m during its second mission (Airbus photo)
Built in Oregon and home-based in Minden, Nevada, the pressurized Perlan 2 glider incorporates a number of unique innovations to enable its mission, and reached an altitude of 62,000 feet/18,898 m during its second mission (Airbus photo)

Built in Oregon and home-based in Minden, Nevada, the Perlan 2 glider incorporates a number of unique innovations to enable its ambitious mission:

  • A carbon-fiber capsule with a unique high-efficiency, passive cabin pressurization system that eliminates the need for heavy, power-hungry compressors.
  • A unique closed-loop rebreather system, in which the only oxygen used is what the crew metabolizes. It is the lightest and most efficient system for a sealed cabin, and its design has applications for other high-altitude aircraft.
  • An onboard «wave visualization system» that graphically displays areas of rising and sinking air in cockpits. For commercial flights, following lines of rising air would allow faster climbs and save fuel, while also helping aircraft avoid dangerous phenomena such as wind shear and severe downdrafts.

Unlike powered research aircraft, Perlan 2 does not affect the temperature or chemistry of the air around it, making it an ideal platform to study the atmosphere. The experiments carried aloft in its instrument bay are yielding new discoveries related to high-altitude flight, weather and climate change.

Perlan’s other sponsors: United Technologies; Weather Extreme Ltd.; BRS Aerospace (Airbus photo)
Perlan’s other sponsors: United Technologies; Weather Extreme Ltd.; BRS Aerospace (Airbus photo)

This season, Perlan 2 is flying with experiments developed by The Perlan Project’s science and research committee, as well as projects created in collaboration with organizations and schools in the U.S. and Argentina. Perlan 2 research projects currently include:

  • An experiment measuring radiation effects at high altitudes, designed by students from Cazenovia Central School & Ashford School in Connecticut. This project is in coordination with Teachers in Space, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization that stimulates student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics;
  • A flight data recorder, developed by Argentina’s Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas para la Defensa (CITEDEF);
  • A second flight data recorder, designed by students at Argentina’s La Universidad Tecnológica Nacional (UTN);
  • A space weather (radiation) instrument;
  • An experiment titled «Marshmallows in Space», developed by the Oregon Museum of Science & Discovery to teach the scientific process to preschoolers.
  • Two new environmental sensors, developed by The Perlan Project.

The Perlan 2 will continue to pursue higher altitude flights and conduct research in the stratosphere as weather and winds permit through the middle of September.

 

About Airbus Perlan Mission II

Airbus Perlan Mission II is an initiative to fly an engineless glider to the edge of space, higher than any other winged aircraft has operated in level, controlled flight, to open up a world of new discoveries related to high-altitude flight, weather and climate change. This historic endeavor is the culmination of decades of research and engineering innovation, and the work of a tireless international team of aviators and scientists who volunteer their time and expertise for the non-profit Perlan Project. The project is supported by Airbus and a group of other sponsors that includes Weather Extreme Ltd., United Technologies and BRS Aerospace.

The pressurized Perlan 2 glider, which is designed to soar up to 90,000 feet/27,432 m, passed the Armstrong Line (Airbus photo)
The pressurized Perlan 2 glider, which is designed to soar up to 90,000 feet/27,432 m, passed the Armstrong Line (Airbus photo)

Multi-mission version

The best-selling jetliner is considered for a wide range of ISR and transport operations

Having made its mark in the commercial airline sector, the A320neo is now being considered by Airbus for new applications: as a highly-capable and cost-effective platform for ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) duties and as a military transport.

Airbus evaluates an A320neo multi-mission version
Airbus evaluates an A320neo multi-mission version

The variant – designated A320M3A – would be designed to fulfill a range of ISR roles, particularly maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare. It also can be outfitted with modular roll-on/roll-off payloads for airlift missions ranging from carrying passengers, troops and VIPs to medical evacuation (medevac) and transporting cargo.

Airbus’ consideration of the A320M3A is in response to market demand, spurred by the growing use of more capable ISR systems – which require physically larger host platforms with increased electrical power and more efficient cooling systems than previously were the case for C4ISR aircraft.

 

A proven, low-risk solution

One of the biggest applications of the A320M3A is for maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare, with countries in Europe and elsewhere seeking replacements for ageing aircraft – many of which will be encouraged to develop fleet commonality driven by the intensive growth of joint operations with member nations of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

Advantages in offering the New Engine Option (NEO) version of Airbus’ A320 commercial jetliner include an extensive capability for growth in a fuselage cross-section that is wider than its competitor in the same size category, the long range and endurance, as well as the lowest operational and life-cycle costs in its class. Other pluses for the A320M3A are the aircraft’s high reliability (proven in airline service), and the resources of an established worldwide supply chain and training network.

The A320M3A also benefits from being a low-risk solution: being based on Airbus’ highly-mature A320 airliner family in high-rate production; and building on the company’s proven capabilities in producing military derivatives of its commercial aircraft – such as the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), which is in use by military services around the globe.

Hungarian helicopters

Donauwörth, The Hungarian Ministry of Defence has ordered 20 H145M military helicopters equipped with the innovative HForce weapon management in the frame of the military modernisation programme Zrinyi 2026. Together with the helicopters, Airbus will provide an extensive training and support package.

H145M with HForce weapon system
H145M with HForce weapon system

«We are honoured to be of service – once more – to the Hungarian Ministry of Defence whom we today welcome as a new customer for our H145M helicopters. With this new order, we are fostering our excellent and trustful relationship with the Hungarian Armed Forces after their acquisition of two A319 military troop transporters last year. Team Airbus is grateful for the continued trust and confidence that the Hungarian government has placed in our products», said Tom Enders, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus.

With a maximum take-off weight of 3.7 tonnes, the H145M can be used for a wide range of tasks, including troop transport, utility, surveillance, air rescue, armed reconnaissance and medical evacuation. The Hungarian fleet will be equipped with a fast roping system, high-performance camera, fire support equipment, ballistic protection as well as an electronic countermeasures system to support the most demanding operational requirements. The HForce system, developed by Airbus Helicopters, will allow Hungary to equip and operate their aircraft with a large set of ballistic or guided air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons.

The H145M is a tried-and-tested light twin-engine helicopter that was first delivered in 2015 to the German Armed Forces and has since been ordered by Thailand and the Republic of Serbia. The programme’s maturity allows Airbus Helicopters to execute orders on cost and on schedule. Mission readiness of the H145Ms already in service is above 95 percent.

Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145M is equipped with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). In addition, the helicopter is equipped with the Helionix digital avionics suite which includes a high-performance 4-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145M the quietest helicopter in its class.

 

Characteristics

DIMENSIONS
Length (rotor rotating) 44.72 feet/13.63 m
Fuselage length 38.35 feet/11.69 m
Height 13.12 feet/4 m
Main rotor diameter 36.09 feet/11 m
Width (blades folded) 8.89 feet/2.71 m
CAPABILITIES
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 8,157 lbs/3,700 kg
Useful Load 3,900 lbs/1,769 kg
Sling load 3,307 lbs/1,500 kg
Maximum seating 1/2 pilots + 10/9 troops
ENGINE
2 × Turbomeca ARRIEL 2E turboshaft engines
Maximum Continuous Power (MCP) 2×771 shp/2×575 kW
Take-Off Power (TOP) 2×894 shp/2×667 kW
2 min One Engine Inoperative (OEI) 1×1,038 shp/1×775 kW
30 sec OEI-power 1×1,072 shp/1×800 kW
PERFORMANCE AT MTOW
Speed (Vne – never exceed speed) 135 knots/155 mph/250 km/h
Fast Cruise speed (Vh – maximum speed) 132 knots/152 mph/244 km/h
Maximum range 357 NM/411 miles/662 km
Hover ceiling OGE (TOP), ISA 8,858 feet/2,700 m

 

Thai Lakota

In 2014, the Royal Thai Army acquired six UH-72A Lakota helicopters from Airbus Group through the US’s foreign military sales programme. After receiving training and in-country support, the Lakotas’ first two years in operation have gone smoothly, an example of hard work and dedicated personnel.

RTA Lakotas enter service without a hitch
RTA Lakotas enter service without a hitch

The Royal Thai Army (RTA) is Thailand’s largest military branch. In addition to conventional military undertakings, its airborne arm is responsible for Emergency Medical Services (EMS), evacuation, reconnaissance and utility services. Its rotorcraft fleet comprises a variety of makes, many of which – as in the case of its Vietnam-era Huey helicopters – are in need of replacement.

To this end, the RTA acquired six new Lakota helicopters from Airbus’ North American division, Airbus Helicopters, Inc., in 2014. For the army’s pilots, like Captain Pongsaton, the commander of the RTA who has experience on the older helicopters, the new aircraft offer a distinct advantage. «The Lakota is very easy to fly. We mainly fly utility, transporting equipment to the mountains or jungle, and we need to take off in confined areas. The Lakota’s instruments and autopilot systems help us avoid obstacles».

The RTA’s purchase of the Lakotas came with a unique support set-up: five weeks of training for pilots and maintenance personnel at the division’s headquarters in Grand Prairie, Texas, followed by support in the form of one field service and one logistics representative in Thailand.

«The RTA saw that in-country support was needed because it was the first time they had acquired this type of helicopter», says Chong Eu Chuah, the contractor field service representative (CFSR) from Airbus. «My role is part of Airbus’ support guarantee to ensure a smooth entry into service for the Lakotas in Thailand».

Originally a technician at Airbus Singapore, Chuah trained for a month in Texas along with Chong Siew Fwai, the Contractor Logistics Service Rep (CLSR). They joined a group of six RTA pilots and ten technicians who would complete theory and simulator instruction, as well as flight training on the UH-72A. In all, 18 pilots and 30 technicians trained through the programme. «We got to know our future colleagues well, as well as setting up lines of communication», says Chuah. «By the time the aircraft arrived in-country we were ready to assume our duties».

In Thailand, Chuah’s responsibilities vary from troubleshooting and on-the-job training, to supporting maintenance or supplying technical assistance at one of the RTA’s five bases – Phitsanulok, Lopburi, Roi Et, Bangkok, and Nakkon Si Thammarat. «For troubleshooting, I normally drive to the sites», he says. «If it is too far (Nakhon Si Thammarat is 900 km/559 miles from Lopburi), I travel by commercial airlines. It is a tiring job but we show commitment to our customer».

Speaking for the RTA’s technical staff, one mechanic offered the comment, «The RTA’s missions cannot be carried out if we don’t have perfect maintenance and a great contribution from the US Army and Airbus Helicopters in sending someone who is an expert».

On the logistics side, Chong Siew Fwai set up a warehouse and inventory of Lakota spares, equipment and tools. Based in Bangkok, he handles purchase orders, equipment loans, parts shipments, and consults on nearly all logistics issues that come up with the new Lakotas.

The entry into service was not without a snag. «During the initial entry into service, we faced some avionics problems, possibly due to humidity during the sea journey from the USA coupled with the rainy season in Thailand», says Chuah. However, with time, his help has shifted from problem-solving to supplying hand’s on – or even remote – training. «As the mechanics gain more experience, I do not travel to the sites as often. I can provide instructions, drawings, photos and video through smartphone».

During their two years in operation, the RTA’s Lakotas have seen an availability rate of 100% when the aircraft are not scheduled for maintenance. «We selected the Lakota for use as a utility helicopter», says one pilot, speaking on behalf of his colleagues. «We like the UH-72A because it is large, comfortable and easy to fly. It’s almost too powerful when hovering into a nose wind and very stable with low vibration».

Behind the Lakotas’ success is a team of dedicated people. «Chong Siew Fwai and I stayed on in Grand Prairie after the type course training to meet key personnel at Airbus in the technical support and logistics departments», says Chuah. «It is easier to help someone you know than a total stranger. I believe these are the reasons for the Lakotas’ smooth entry into service».

Airbus Lakota helicopter enters Thai Army service
Airbus Lakota helicopter enters Thai Army service

First flight
with weapon system

At the end of August, the H145M performed its first flight with a complete HForce weapon system in Donauwörth. Thanks to this modular weapon system designed by Airbus, the H145M can be equipped with all kind of guided and ballistic armaments such as missiles and laser guided rockets, guns, machine guns and rockets. The qualification of HForce for use on the H145M is planned for 2018.

H145M completes first flight with HForce weapon system
H145M completes first flight with HForce weapon system

«The next steps prior to qualification include a firing campaign, testing the whole fire mission spectrum through guns, cannons and rockets in Hungary as well as tests on the laser-guided rockets in Sweden before the end of the year», said Jean-Luc André, HForce Program Manager at Airbus Helicopters. «As the launch customer for the H145M with the HForce weapon system, the Republic of Serbia has ordered nine H145M aircraft, including four attack helicopters equipped with HForce», he added.

HForce is a comprehensive, modular and cost-efficient weapon system that can be used on any military version of Airbus’ civil helicopter range (H125M, H145M and H225M). The flexible weapon management system enables armies around the world to complement their fleets with specialised versions of light attack helicopters.

The H145M is the military version of the tried-and-tested, twin-engine H145 civil helicopter that was first delivered in 2014. The entire H145 fleet has now clocked up more than 60,000 flight hours. With a maximum take-off weight of 3.7 tonnes/8,157 lbs, the agile light attack H145M, which perfectly matches the needs of Special Forces, can be used for a wide range of tasks, including armed reconnaissance, ground fire support, escort, tactical transport, MEDEVAC and CASEVAC. Customers for the H145M include the German Armed Forces – which in June received their 15th H145M LUH SOF helicopter on time and on budget – as well as the Republic of Serbia and the Kingdom of Thailand.

 

Characteristics

DIMENSIONS
Length (rotor rotating) 44.72 feet/13.63 m
Fuselage length 38.35 feet/11.69 m
Height 13.12 feet/4 m
Main rotor diameter 36.09 feet/11 m
Width (blades folded) 8.89 feet/2.71 m
CAPABILITIES
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 8,157 lbs/3,700 kg
Useful Load 3,900 lbs/1,769 kg
Sling load 3,307 lbs/1,500 kg
Maximum seating 1/2 pilots + 10/9 troops
ENGINE
2 × Turbomeca ARRIEL 2E turboshaft engines
Maximum Continuous Power (MCP) 2×771 shp/2×575 kW
Take-Off Power (TOP) 2×894 shp/2×667 kW
2 min One Engine Inoperative (OEI) 1×1,038 shp/1×775 kW
30 sec OEI-power 1×1,072 shp/1×800 kW
PERFORMANCE AT MTOW
Speed (Vne – never exceed speed) 135 knots/155 mph/250 km/h
Fast Cruise speed (Vh – maximum speed) 132 knots/152 mph/244 km/h
Maximum range 357 NM/411 miles/662 km
Hover ceiling OGE (TOP), ISA 8,858 feet/2,700 m

 

Inmarsat 6’s Reflectors

Astro Aerospace, a Northrop Grumman Corporation business, completed a successful Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of the nine-meter L-band reflectors for two Airbus Inmarsat-6 series satellites.

Northrop Grumman’s Astro Aerospace Completes Preliminary Design Review for Inmarsat 6’s L-band Reflectors
Northrop Grumman’s Astro Aerospace Completes Preliminary Design Review for Inmarsat 6’s L-band Reflectors

The success of the PDR is a significant milestone for the Inmarsat-6 program. With the preliminary design of the L-band reflectors now set, Astro Aerospace will continue maturing the design in preparation for the Critical Design Review (CDR) later this year.

«We are proud to support Airbus Defence and Space and the Inmarsat program», said John A. Alvarez, general manager, Astro Aerospace. «Astro Aerospace’s unique AstroMesh technology is particularly well suited for Inmarsat-6’s L-band capacity, which is significantly greater than the capacity of previous satellites and capable of supporting a new generation of more advanced L-band services. AstroMesh deployable mesh reflectors are made of the lightest and stiffest materials available, making them well suited for such missions. I also want to thank the combined Astro-Airbus-Inmarsat team that worked tirelessly to ensure a successful PDR».

Astro Aerospace (www.northropgrumman.com/astro) is the leading pioneer of space deployable technology and structures that have enabled critical complex missions to Earth’s orbit, Mars and beyond. Astro Aerospace’s hardware is characterized by its light weight structural design and robust deployment kinematics. Since 1958, Astro Aerospace has successfully deployed technology on hundreds of space flights with a 100 percent success rate, a testament to Northrop Grumman’s commitment to reliability, quality and affordability.

Contract negotiations

It said in the Defense-aerospace.com that the Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to begin contract negotiations for acquiring 56 Airbus C-295 transport aircraft as replacements for its ageing Avro HS-748 aircraft.

After several years of hesitation about how to replace its Avro HS-748 turboprop transports, the Chief of Staff of the Indian Air Force said negotiations will shortly be opened with Airbus to buy at least 60 C-295s (Airbus photo)
After several years of hesitation about how to replace its Avro HS-748 turboprop transports, the Chief of Staff of the Indian Air Force said negotiations will shortly be opened with Airbus to buy at least 60 C-295s (Airbus photo)

According to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, due attention is being paid to all assets of IAF, fighters and transporters included, and that «contract negotiations for 56 C-295 aircraft to replace the ageing Avro fleet are likely to commence shortly».

Separately, official sources indicated that the Border Security Force (BSF) is also looking at four C-295s for movement of its troopers within the country.

That takes the projected number to 60, but as the aircraft will be made in India by the Tata Group, their number should go up eventually, keeping in mind the regional connectivity plans of the Civil Aviation Ministry, particularly in India’s northern Himalayan cities.

Airbus officials have also said they are looking at a sizeable share of the Indian civil aviation market, pointing out that the C-295 is already operational in 19 countries.

The air chief’s statement is significant as it clearly indicates that the process of acquiring the C-295s is now on a firm track.

The aircraft is to be made in India by the Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) in partnership with Airbus, and as per their announcement in 2014, once a contract is awarded, Airbus Defence and Space will supply the first 16 aircraft in «fly-away» condition from its own final assembly line in Spain and the subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by TASL.

The arrangement will include undertaking structural assembly, final aircraft assembly, systems integration and testing, and management of the indigenous supply chain.

Asked how the IAF was overcoming many challenges in the transport domain, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said that IAF will also induct another six Lockheed Martin C-130J Special Operations aircraft within the first half of 2017 while one more Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic lift aircraft is being acquired to take their number to 11. Ten C-17s are already operational with the IAF.

It may be recalled that IAF has already inducted the first lot of six C-130Js. One of them, however, had crashed and a case has now been made for its replacement.

About the AN-32 aircraft, which is the workhorse of the IAF and has been under upgrades, he said that their first lot is due for «phase out in 2023-24 and a suitable replacement will be considered at an appropriate time».

The IAF had acquired more than 100 AN 32s beginning mid-1980s from the Soviet Union, and these are being upgraded by Ukraine, which is now an independent state after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

About the Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) that was proposed (in 2007) to be designed and built in collaboration with Russia, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said that «the agreement with Russia for MTA could not mature as their proposal did not meet some of the Air Staff Qualitative requirements (ASRs)».

A400M to Spain

The Spanish Air Force has taken delivery of its first Airbus A400M new generation airlifter – the most advanced aircraft to have been produced in Spain and one which will transform the nation’s air mobility fleet.

Airbus Defence and Space delivers first A400M to Spain
Airbus Defence and Space delivers first A400M to Spain

Today’s contractual handover of the first of 27 aircraft that it has ordered makes Spain the sixth nation to put the A400M into service.

Representatives of the Spanish Air Force and Ministry of Defence formally accepted the aircraft, known as MSN44, from Airbus Defence and Space in a brief ceremony at the A400M Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Seville.

Airbus Defence and Space Head of Military Aircraft, Fernando Alonso, said: «Today is truly a special day for all of us who have been involved with the A400M programme over the years – but particularly for the Seville workforce that has worked so hard to make the aircraft a reality. Every delivery to every customer is of huge importance to us, but being able to hand over the first aircraft to Spain from our final assembly line in Seville is a source of particular pride. I would like to thank all our employees, as well as Organisation conjointe de coopération en matière d’armement (OCCAR) and our Spanish customer for achieving this milestone».

In Spanish service the A400M will replace the ageing C-130 aircraft type, carrying about twice the load over the same distance, or the same load twice as far. In addition, it can serve as a tactical air-to-air tanker for other transport aircraft, including other A400Ms.

Uniquely it is able both to cruise at jet-like speeds and altitudes over intercontinental ranges due to its four extremely powerful engines and advanced aerodynamic design, as well as to operate repeatedly from short and unprepared airstrips close to the scene of military action or humanitarian crisis.

Under an agreement signed in September, 14 aircraft will be delivered at a steady pace between now and 2022, and the remaining 13 are scheduled for delivery from 2025 onwards.

The Spanish A400M fleet will be based at Zaragoza in North East Spain and will represent the heavylift element of a transport force that includes the medium C295 and CN235, and light C212 aircraft – all produced by Airbus Defence and Space. MSN44 will fly to Zaragoza in the coming days.

Altogether more than 1600 employees from Airbus Defence and Space work in Spain for the A400m program, including 1100 working directly at the Seville FAL and nearby Tablada Factory. To date eight nations have ordered 174 aircraft of which 34 have now been delivered.

Aircraft leaves final assembly line at Seville to serve at Zaragoza base

 

Specifications

DIMENSIONS
Overall Length 45.10 m/148 feet
Overall Height 14.70 m/48 feet
Wing Span 42.40 m/139 feet
Cargo Hold Length (ramp excluded) 17.71 m/58 feet
Cargo Hold Height 3.85-4.00 m/12 feet 7 inch-13 feet
Cargo Hold Width 4.00 m/13 feet
Cargo Hold Volume 340 m3/12,000 feet3
WEIGHTS
Maximum Take Off Weight 141,000 kg/310,850 lbs
Maximum Landing Weight 123,000 kg/271,200 lbs
Internal Fuel Weight 50,500 kg/111,300 lbs
Maximum Payload 37,000 kg/81,600 lbs
ENGINE (×4)
EuroProp International TP400-D6 11,000 shp/8,200 kW
PERFORMANCE
Maximum Operating Altitude 12,200 m/40,000 feet
Maximum Cruise Speed (TAS) 300 knots/345 mph/555 km/h
Cruise Speed Range 0.68-0.72 M
RANGE
Range with Maximum Payload (37,000 kg/81,600 lbs) 1,780 NM/2,050 miles/3,300 km
Range with 30,000 kg/66,000 lbs Payload 2,450 NM/2,796 miles/4,500 km
Range with 20,000 kg/44,000 lbs Payload 3,450 NM/3,977 miles/6,400 km
Maximum Range (Ferry) 4,700 NM/5,406 miles/8,700 km
A400M
A400M

C295W in La Paz

An Airbus C295W aircraft belonging to the Mexican Navy (SEMAR) and operated by a mixed crew from Airbus Defence and Space and SEMAR has carried out demonstration flights in El Alto, La Paz, Bolivia, one of the airports with the most extreme hot and high conditions in the world.

The Airbus Military C295W is a new generation, very robust and reliable, highly versatile tactical airlifter
The Airbus Military C295W is a new generation, very robust and reliable, highly versatile tactical airlifter

The C295W, which landed at El Alto International Airport, more than 13,123 feet/4,000 m above sea level, on Tuesday, November 17, has also performed flights to the Cochabamba base and the unprepared runway of San Borja.

The new C295W version is equipped with winglets, which allow transport of more payload over larger distances in hot and high conditions and result in fuel savings of around 4%.

«The highly successful demonstration by the C295W in Bolivia this week underlines again its excellent performance in hot and high conditions, which is key for several countries in the Region. It demonstrates once more the C295W’s status as the most efficient aircraft in its category», said Christophe Roux, Head of Airbus Defence and Space in Latin America.

The aircraft’s tour of the region will include stops in several countries of the Region before returning to Mexico in early December.

The C295’s Short Take-Off & Landing (STOL) capability combined with a strong landing gear enable it to operate in the most austere locations with the worst conditions for take-off and landings
The C295’s Short Take-Off & Landing (STOL) capability combined with a strong landing gear enable it to operate in the most austere locations with the worst conditions for take-off and landings

 

Specifications

Dimensions
Overall Length 24.50 m/80 feet 3 inch
Overall Height 8.65 m/28 feet 5 inch
Wing Span 25.81 m/84 feet 8 inch
Cargo Hold Length (ramp excluded) 12.70 m/41 feet 8 inch
Cargo Hold Height 1.90 m/6 feet 3 inch
Cargo Hold Width 2.70 m/8 feet 10 inch
Cargo Hold Volume 64 m3/2,260 feet3
Weights
Maximum Take Off Weight 23,200 kg/51,000 lbs
Maximum Landing Weight 23,200 kg/51,000 lbs
Internal Fuel Weight 6,150 kg/13,600 lbs
Maximum Payload 9,250 kg/20,400 lbs
Engine (×2)
Pratt & Whitney PW-127G 2,645 shp (up to 2,920 shp with Auxiliary Power Reserve, APR)/1,970 kW
Performance
Maximum Operating Altitude 9,100 m/30,000 feet
Maximum Cruise Speed (TAS*) 260 knots/299 mph/480 km/h
Range
Range with Maximum Payload (9,250 kg/20,400 lbs) 700 NM/1,300 km
Range with 6,000 kg/13,200 lbs Payload 2,000 NM/3,700 km
Range with 3,000 kg/6,600 lbs Payload 2,500 NM/4,600 km
Maximum Range (Ferry) 2,900 NM/5,400 km

* The true airspeed (TAS; also KTAS, for Knots True AirSpeed) of an aircraft is the speed of the aircraft relative to the airmass in which it is flying

The C295W is based on the earlier CN235, but with many component upgrades
The C295W is based on the earlier CN235, but with many component upgrades

Eurofighter Enhanced

Airbus Defence and Space has successfully completed flight-testing of a package of aerodynamic upgrades to the Eurofighter Typhoon swing-role fighter that promises to enhance further the aircraft’s agility and weapons-carrying ability. The Aerodynamic Modification Kit (AMK) is part of a wider Eurofighter Enhanced Maneuverability (EFEM) programme with the potential to help ensure the type is continuing superiority for many years to come.

Flight-test of Eurofighter Aerodynamic Upgrades Completed
Flight-test of Eurofighter Aerodynamic Upgrades Completed

It entails primarily the addition of fuselage strakes and leading-edge root extensions, which increase the maximum lift created by the wing by 25% – resulting in an increased turn rate, tighter turning radius, and improved nose-pointing ability at low speed – all critical fighter capabilities in air-to-air combat.

The introduction of the AMK will not only enhance the Eurofighter’s current capability as a swing-role fighter-bomber, but will provide additional growth potential, enabling easier integration of future air-to-surface configurations and much more flexible applications, vastly enhancing the aircraft’s mission effectiveness in the air-to-surface role.

The Defensive Aids Sub-System (DASS), which constitutes the Electronic Warfare suite, monitors and responds to the outside world
The Defensive Aids Sub-System (DASS), which constitutes the Electronic Warfare suite, monitors and responds to the outside world

Eurofighter Project Pilot Germany Raffaele Beltrame said: «This programme has been a tremendous success with very impressive results – in some areas even better than we expected. We saw angle of attack values around 45% greater than on the standard aircraft, and roll rates up to 100% higher, all leading to increased agility. The handling qualities appeared to be markedly improved, providing more maneuverability, agility and precision while performing tasks representative of in-service operations. In addition, it is extremely interesting to consider the potential benefits in the air-to-surface configuration thanks to the increased variety and flexibility of stores that can be carried. It is right to say that the EFEM/AMK work has allowed us to discover a new aircraft with much higher performance and greater potential to meet the challenges of the years ahead».

The flight trials followed some five years of studies. Eurofighter test pilots, joined in the latter stages by operational pilots from Germany, Italy and the UK, completed 36 sorties from Manching, Germany on the IPA7 Instrumented Production Aircraft.

Modifications boost agility and weapons-carrying capability
Modifications boost agility and weapons-carrying capability

 

Eurojet EJ200

The EJ200 has been designed with inherent growth potential up to 15%. Enhancements in the compression system and latest innovations in core engine technology could deliver up to 30% increased power. This performance improvement may also be traded for life cycle cost improvements, maintaining current thrust levels. This flexibility is enabled by the advanced Digital Engine Control and Monitoring Unit (DECMU), fully exploiting the advantages of the enhanced engine in line with operational requirements.

Eurofighter Typhoon is equipped with two Eurojet EJ200 engines to increase safety in peacetime and redundancy in war
Eurofighter Typhoon is equipped with two Eurojet EJ200 engines to increase safety in peacetime and redundancy in war
Thrust / Weight ratio ~10:1
Overall pressure ratio 26:1
Bypass ratio 0.4
Overall length 157 inch/4 m
Inlet diameter 29 inch/0.74 m
Digital Engine Control and Monitoring Unit (DECMU)
Each aspect of the Eurofighter Typhoon is designed to provide a balanced contribution to the overall effectiveness of the weapon system
Each aspect of the Eurofighter Typhoon is designed to provide a balanced contribution to the overall effectiveness of the weapon system

 

General characteristics

DIMENSIONS
Wingspan 35 feet 11 inch/10.95 m
Length overall 52 feet 4 inch/15.96 m
Height 17 feet 4 inch/5.28 m
Wing Area 551.1 feet2/51.2 m2
MASS
Basic Mass Empty 24,250 lbs/11,000 kg
Maximum Take-Off >51,809 lbs/23,500 kg
Maximum External Load >16,535 lbs/7,500 kg
DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
Single seat twin-engine, with a two-seat variant
Weapon Carriage 13 Hardpoints
G’ limits +9/-3 ‘g’
Engines Two Eurojet EJ200 reheated turbofans
Maximum dry thrust class 13,500 lbs/6,124 kgf/60 kN
Maximum reheat thrust class 20,000 lbs/9,072 kgf/90 kN
GENERAL PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS
Ceiling >55,000 feet/16,764 m
Brakes off to 35,000 feet(10,668 m)/Mach 1.5 <2.5 minutes
Brakes off to lift off <8 seconds
At low level, 200 knots/230 mph/370 km/h to Mach 1.0 in 30 seconds
Maximum Speed Mach 2.0
Operational Runway Length <2,297 feet/700 m
MATERIALS
Carbon Fibre Composites (CFC) 70%
Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) 12%
Aluminium Alloy, Titanium Alloy 15%
Acrylic (Röhm 249) 3%
OPERATORS
United Kingdom 232 Aircraft
Germany 180 Aircraft
Italy 121 Aircraft
Spain 87 Aircraft
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 72 Aircraft
Austria 15 Aircraft
Sultanate of Oman 12 Aircraft
Total 719 Aircraft
Eurofighter Typhoon provides a diverse range of options for all Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface operations
Eurofighter Typhoon provides a diverse range of options for all Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface operations