Chronology of the A400M First Flight

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Aeronáutica Andaluza nº13
Septiembre - Diciembre 2009
Sep 2, 2009

The first flight of the new plane of EADS group has been a complete success, with many relevant milestones during more than ten years of development.

 

06.00: The runway technicians of the San Pablo Plant begin preparations for the maiden flight of the A400M. The crew arrives at the facilities and prepares to take their positions. The aircraft is ready to start the tests and is left with the fuel already loaded on the previous afternoon.  

08.00: The pilots and engineers of the A400M’s first flight take their positions in the aircraft and start the initial checks of the different systems in coor- dination with the control centre. The four massi- ve engines of the A400M roar to life.

9.50: After making the necessary ground checks, the A400M begins to taxi towards the runway of Seville Airport minutes prior to the scheduled time, where it awaits orders to proceed with the long-awaited take-off. The excitement mounts among those attending the event.  

10.15: The A400M finally takes off from the runway lo- cated in front of the San Pablo FAL, to the ap- plause and delight of the authorities, VIPs and the press. Before them lies three hours of flights and some 300 kilometres travelling across the skies of Andalusia, Extremadura and Portugal.

11.15: A press conference is given by Fernando Alon- so, head of flight tests for Airbus Military and the A400M, who informs the media that everything has proceeded satisfactorily during the take-off. However, he prefers not to celebrate until the definitive landing of the aircraft.

13.00: The scheduled arrival time for the A400M is rea- ched, but delays are announced due to the addi- tional tests and checks which have been carried out during the flight. The company decides to show King Juan Carlos I the facilities of the FAL. 13.50: The most eagerly awaited moment arrives as the A400M crosses the Seville skyline with a silent pass in front of the FAL, to the applause and de- light of all those present, in particular the wor- kers of the plant.

14.02: The A400M touches down at Seville Airport, with a perfect landing which surprises even ex- perts in the aeronautical industry. The flight has a final duration of 3 hours and 47 minutes.

14.20: The aircraft enters the plant at San Pablo and passes in front of the authorities and VIPs. The pilots give the thumbs-up of approval for the A400M’s excellent in-flight performance.

14.35: After doing a half-turn to salute the hundreds of workers of the San Pablo Factory and coming to a halt in front of the authorities, the A400M shuts off its engines. The maiden flight has been a complete success.