Airbus has announced that its A400M Atlas military transport turboprop has received its automatic low-level flight certification. The certification covers operations in visual meteorological conditions with a second certification phase to include instrumental meteorological conditions planned for 2021. The certification campaign involved transitions from low-level flight to operations such as aerial delivery and flights down to 500 feet AGL.
“Inherent to the fighter aircraft world, and as a unique capability for a military transport aircraft, the Automatic Low Level Flights improves the A400M’s terrain masking and survivability, making the aircraft less detectable in hostile areas and less susceptible to threats when cruising towards key military operations like aerial delivery, air-to-air refueling, logistic or other specific special operations,” Airbus said.
The A400M program was launched in May 2003 and the aircraft flew for the first time on Dec. 11, 2009. Designed as a dual-role transport and tanker, the Atlas has a range of 4,800 NM and a top speed of Mach 0.72, and is capable of carrying payloads of up to 37 tons. The aircraft is powered by four EuroProp International TP 400 engines. There are currently 90 A400Ms in operation.
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