Have you seen a plane dance?? See the Airbus A400M to do it!!
April 14th, 2016 | by Web Desk
Boris Pasternak says “Immensely grateful, touched, proud, astonished, abashed” and me also when I see this Airbus A400M maneuver through sky like a flying geese.
Man’s wish to achieve the ability to fly has led him and aviation industry to greater heights. Thus technology and humans hard work has resulted in evolution of great aerodynamic flying machine (aka airplanes). thus the existence of airbus came into being.
Airbus is one of the few companies in the world renowned for the manufacture of highly reliable and sophisticated fleet of aircrafts. Among them is the Airbus a400m model designed specifically for military transport and inter-operable among six European countries: Germany, France, Spain, United Kingdom among others.
Its maiden flight was scheduled to be 2009 but production delays forced negotiations to extend the date. It received its proper certifications by the European bodies in March 2013 after which it first took to the skies in December the same year. This is the most amazing plane unveiled by the Europeans since the Transall C-160 twin-turbo engine developed in the early 1960s.
The $152 million dollar plane is powered by four massive TP400-D6 engines each capable of producing 11,000 horse power thereby reaching a maximum speed of 410 knots and cruises at a speed of 300 knots.
Its fuselage measures approximately 45.1 meters in length, cut across by a wingspan of 42.4 meters. The a400m model weighs approximately three hundred and ten thousand pounds bearing a capability of operating between low-level altitudes of 150ft above ground level and high-level altitudes of up to 40,000ft.
Like most aircrafts, the a400m cockpit is manned by two crew members: the captain sitting on the left side and the right side sits first officer. Inside the cockpit, there are numerous instruments embedded in LCD screens that the pilots read to make sure the aircraft is steered towards the right direction.
One of them is the Primary Flight Display (P.F.D) which gives readings on altitude, airspeed, vertical speed, among other measurements using airpressure and barometric pressure. Another crucial instrument is the Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor (E.C.A.M) which gives details on the aircraft systems. Additionally, it notifies the pilots on the aircraft problems and in certain cases gives messages informing them how to correct the problem at hand.
The aircraft is designed to take off using a very short length of a runway or strip in both prepared and unprepared circumstances hence the name tactical airlifter.
It has 14 wheels on its landing gear to aid is low surface loading. its three independent adjustable gears in tandem on each side make it possible to level the aircraft on a land gradient that is uneven or can make tilt to one side to make loading and unloading become easier.
Despite the amazing features that the a400m model has, it is accompanied with some few setbacks that brings it down on the competition scale. Airbus made a mistake to let the aircraft use the engines manufactured by one of the most inexperienced companies thereby receiving red flags pilots, maintenance engineers and aviation critics. The problem majorly lies in the engine gearbox which causes delays in reaching the optimum engine power.
In spite of its problems, the a400m still performs exceptionally when compared to the U.S. manufactured aircraft Lockheed C-130J. It has the in-flight refueling capabilities coupled with the ability to make unimaginable maneuvers regardless of its size. Although the C-130 costs cheaper than the a400m, it is evident that the latter’s price is worth every penny it costs due to the amount of functionalities it can deliver.