by Richard Tomkins
Unterschleissheim, Germany (UPI) Sep 24, 2014
Airbus Defense and Space reports the first of four A400M airlifters it is building for the Royal Malaysian Air Force is on its assembly line in Spain.
Fully equipped major sections of the new aircraft -- wing, tailplane, cockpit, fuselage and landing-gear -- have been joined together and the aircraft is ready for ground testing.
"This aircraft will be delivered in the first quarter of 2015, followed by two more later in the year and the fourth and final aircraft in 2016," the company said.
The Airbus A400M conducted its first flight in 2009. It is a four-engine turboprop that can carry more than 81,000 pounds of cargo or cargo and troops. It has a cruise speed of 485 miles per hour and a range of about 2,000 miles at full payload.
In addition to its use as a cargo and passenger aircraft it can also be used as an air-to-air refueler.
Airbus is training Malaysian pilots in the plane's operation and will soon start training for Malaysian Air Force maintenance engineers and technicians.
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com
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