A400M tests sand landings and take-offs

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Left: The MSN2 taking off from Woodbridge.

Airbus Defence and Space has successfully demonstrated the capability of the A400M new generation airlifter to operate on a sand runway – the last of three unprepared types of surface on which it will be certified.

The tests using the development aircraft MSN2 took place over a three-week period in August on a specially constructed airstrip at RAF Woodbridge in the UK. A final week of tests will include operations at increasingly higher weights.

The A400M demonstrated excellent performance in taxiing maneuvers such as u-turns, and during take-off and landing on the 1,600m (5,250ft) strip. These tests followed earlier successful results on a gravel surface at Ablitas in northern Spain and on a grass runway at Écury in France.

August 26, 2016

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