NetComposites
Airtech

A400M Wing Passes Critical Test

07 August 2010

The all-composite wing of the Airbus Military A400M new airlifter has passed the ultimate-load up-bend test – the critical static test required for certification.

During the test, performed in the presence of two representatives of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the wing was subjected to a load equal to 150% of the maximum bending load (limit load) predicted to be encountered in service.

The wingtips of the full-size A400M static test specimen moved upwards 1.41m (4.6ft) during the test which was completed at Airbus Military's Getafe, Madrid facility on 22nd July.

Senior Vice President A400M Chief Engineer Alain Cassier said: “This successful test represents a major achievement for the A400M programme on its route to certification. We are all delighted to have passed this key milestone in the structural test programme, which further confirms the soundness of the A400M design.”

The A400M wing is assembled at the Airbus plant at Filton, Bristol (UK). The static test programme will continue in Madrid, (Spain) until mid-2011, while full-scale fatigue tests will be conducted on another test specimen in Dresden, (Germany) beginning later this year.