A400M troubles, the latest news...

Discuss all aspects of military aviation here!

Moderators: MikeD, Robert Hilton

User avatar
Robert Hilton
Posts: 890
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:36 pm
Location: Limburg, the Netherlands

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Robert Hilton » Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:32 am

Latest word is sometime between Dec. 6 and 13 for FF.

In other news, the RAF is getting close to signing for C-17 #8
Can the RAF afford to continue paying for the A400 and purchase another C-17?
There is talk of sweeping cuts over the whole board.

User avatar
Princess Leia
Posts: 629
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:44 am

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Princess Leia » Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:11 pm

There are rumors of cutting the A400m order from 25 to 19, freeing up the money for this and possibly further C-17s.
May a plethora of uncultivated palaeontologists raise the dead in a way that makes your blood boil

User avatar
Robert Hilton
Posts: 890
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:36 pm
Location: Limburg, the Netherlands

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Robert Hilton » Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:21 pm

I suppose the big question is, can the RAF afford to have so many different transport types on inventory?

David Hilditch
Posts: 1201
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby David Hilditch » Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:42 pm

I suppose the big question is, can the RAF afford to have so many different transport types on inventory?
Remember when we had the VC-10, Argosy, C-130, Britannia, Belfast, Comet, Andover, Hastings, Varsity, Beverley, Twin Pioneer - more or less at the same time in - what - the late 1960s............... Probably others too I have forgotten. I read a statistic recently than in an average year in the 1950s the RAF wrote off as many airframes in accidents as today's entire air force.

Undoubtedly many sweeping cuts to come, although air transport will have to have a higher priority versus more fast jets if we are to make even a half-assed attempt to meet current commitments. I think the early C-17s were funded on a cheaper lease-to-puchase basis, so that is one option. C-17s can - just - also be used on tactical missions, though Boeing imposed some restrictions when they were leased. While the A400M is not popular on this board, it has made rapid progress this past few months and has the potential to be a winner. I hope it performs in UK service in large numbers as well as with other air arms. I think production will be slow but steady - and could outlast most of the liftetimes of this website's members (cf. the C-130).

User avatar
flyboy2548m
Posts: 3793
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:32 am
Location: Ormond Beach, FL

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby flyboy2548m » Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:01 pm

Remember when we had the VC-10, Argosy, C-130, Britannia, Belfast, Comet, Andover, Hastings, Varsity, Beverley, Twin Pioneer - more or less at the same time in - what - the late 1960s............... Probably others too I have forgotten.
Oh, David, I'm sure you've forgotten more things than any of us can ever know.
Chief Pilot/ACJ Program Manager, Vandelay Industries, Inc

User avatar
Robert Hilton
Posts: 890
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:36 pm
Location: Limburg, the Netherlands

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Robert Hilton » Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:37 pm

I suppose the big question is, can the RAF afford to have so many different transport types on inventory?
Remember when we had the VC-10, Argosy, C-130, Britannia, Belfast, Comet, Andover, Hastings, Varsity, Beverley, Twin Pioneer - more or less at the same time in - what - the late 1960s............... Probably others too I have forgotten. I read a statistic recently than in an average year in the 1950s the RAF wrote off as many airframes in accidents as today's entire air force.

Undoubtedly many sweeping cuts to come, although air transport will have to have a higher priority versus more fast jets if we are to make even a half-assed attempt to meet current commitments. I think the early C-17s were funded on a cheaper lease-to-puchase basis, so that is one option. C-17s can - just - also be used on tactical missions, though Boeing imposed some restrictions when they were leased. While the A400M is not popular on this board, it has made rapid progress this past few months and has the potential to be a winner. I hope it performs in UK service in large numbers as well as with other air arms. I think production will be slow but steady - and could outlast most of the liftetimes of this website's members (cf. the C-130).
Indeed David I do remember the wealth of types in the late '60's. A good many of them had rather short service lives which does make their purchase somewhat expensive. I don't think the Air Staff wish to repeat that again.
I agree that air transport will enjoy the priority in the next round, there is talk of reducing the front line force to eight squadrons. Something that could be easily achieved with the present inventory and a/c ordered.
As to the point will the A400 live up to it's potential, the political hand should not be underestimated. They could still mess it up.

User avatar
Princess Leia
Posts: 629
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:44 am

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Princess Leia » Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:18 am

The C-130Ks are on their way out, so by the time the A-400M ever gets into service, you'll have 3 transports: C-130J, A-400M and C-17. It would be pathetic if that amount of variety were too taxing.

For long range you'll still have L-1011 and possibly the A-330MRTT on line (just) with the VC-10 gone.

It's a sad state, when a leading military can be crippled in its operations with the loss of just 2 helicopters, and a scandal erupts in sending 5 chinooks to exercises in North Africa...

What's next, another mountain out of a molehill because RR can't make an engine for the F-35, when it seems more and more likely every day that the RAF and RN may never take delivery of it?
May a plethora of uncultivated palaeontologists raise the dead in a way that makes your blood boil

User avatar
Robert Hilton
Posts: 890
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:36 pm
Location: Limburg, the Netherlands

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Robert Hilton » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:56 am

Well after the next round of cuts, the chances are very good that there will only be two types in front line service. Until the F35 comes on line.
I'm just wondering which way the Air Staff will go. Whilst four transport types might not seem too many, three is less. Most of the people in the Air Staff will still remember the head-aches of the diversity of types in the '70's. They will also remember the number of airframes that were scrapped early, again to save costs.
The F35 is also a problem in some respects, numbers have been slashed leading to higher per unit cost. The software codes issue is still putting a few noses out of joint. The perceived need for the a/c has diminished somewhat. The number of Typhoons ordered is far more than is required now, there are even tentative steps being made to see if they can off-load them onto another country (or two or three). With the phasing out of the Harrier, there will be a hole in capability until the F35 becomes available for carrier work. There in lies a big problem for the UK. They want flat tops so they will need F35's, that or navalise the Typhoon. Personally, I don't see that happening

User avatar
supersean
Posts: 1103
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:45 pm

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby supersean » Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:46 am

The scuttlebutt from several sources is now being confirmed in the press.... do we need to cue up the death march for the a400M?

http://www.reuters.com/article/AIRDEF/i ... Z120091201
proudly serving WTF comments since 2003

Marc 1
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 2:24 pm

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Marc 1 » Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:27 am

Saw itwritten elsewhere that they are now doing medium speed taxi trials (up to 80 knots). I think rumours of the A400's demise are fairly premature.

User avatar
supersean
Posts: 1103
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:45 pm

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby supersean » Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:47 pm

Saw itwritten elsewhere that they are now doing medium speed taxi trials (up to 80 knots). I think rumours of the A400's demise are fairly premature.
Even the Spruce Goose flew... does not mean it will make it into production. If any of the main players in the EU consortium pull out it MAY be the cue to strike up the band.
proudly serving WTF comments since 2003

Marc 1
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 2:24 pm

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Marc 1 » Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:24 am

Saw itwritten elsewhere that they are now doing medium speed taxi trials (up to 80 knots). I think rumours of the A400's demise are fairly premature.
Even the Spruce Goose flew... does not mean it will make it into production. If any of the main players in the EU consortium pull out it MAY be the cue to strike up the band.
European pride will ensure it still goes ahead even if it cruises at 60 knots, has a payload of 100kg's and requires a 10,000m runway to become airborn. Then it will be hailed as a great success, then quietly removed from service to become paperweights.

There are too many other programs that are being designed for the euro militaries for this program to fail now. Quite a few items of new hardware are around the 30 - 35 tonne payload, so if the A400 is cancelled the only alternative would be C-17's or that Antonov design (An-70?) that was shelved a while back. That sized payload is too much for a Herc. Interestingly, LM is looking at a larger, more powerful derivative of the C130 with a payload and load bay around the same size as the A 400. Only a design proposal for now. So it will go ahead, the question is how close to the design targets will they be and how long will it remain in service.

User avatar
supersean
Posts: 1103
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:45 pm

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby supersean » Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:25 pm

Saw itwritten elsewhere that they are now doing medium speed taxi trials (up to 80 knots). I think rumours of the A400's demise are fairly premature.
Even the Spruce Goose flew... does not mean it will make it into production. If any of the main players in the EU consortium pull out it MAY be the cue to strike up the band.
European pride will ensure it still goes ahead even if it cruises at 60 knots, has a payload of 100kg's and requires a 10,000m runway to become airborn. Then it will be hailed as a great success, then quietly removed from service to become paperweights.

There are too many other programs that are being designed for the euro militaries for this program to fail now. Quite a few items of new hardware are around the 30 - 35 tonne payload, so if the A400 is cancelled the only alternative would be C-17's or that Antonov design (An-70?) that was shelved a while back. That sized payload is too much for a Herc. Interestingly, LM is looking at a larger, more powerful derivative of the C130 with a payload and load bay around the same size as the A 400. Only a design proposal for now. So it will go ahead, the question is how close to the design targets will they be and how long will it remain in service.
With an existing platform meeting requirements (C-17) it may be easier for some in the EU to pull the plug.It would be interesting to see if there are any public source comparisons of the two aircraft... I'll start to dig around a bit.
proudly serving WTF comments since 2003

Marc 1
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 2:24 pm

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Marc 1 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:06 am

European pride will ensure it still goes ahead even if it cruises at 60 knots, has a payload of 100kg's and requires a 10,000m runway to become airborn. Then it will be hailed as a great success, then quietly removed from service to become paperweights.

There are too many other programs that are being designed for the euro militaries for this program to fail now. Quite a few items of new hardware are around the 30 - 35 tonne payload, so if the A400 is cancelled the only alternative would be C-17's or that Antonov design (An-70?) that was shelved a while back. That sized payload is too much for a Herc. Interestingly, LM is looking at a larger, more powerful derivative of the C130 with a payload and load bay around the same size as the A 400. Only a design proposal for now. So it will go ahead, the question is how close to the design targets will they be and how long will it remain in service.
With an existing platform meeting requirements (C-17) it may be easier for some in the EU to pull the plug.It would be interesting to see if there are any public source comparisons of the two aircraft... I'll start to dig around a bit.
Plenty of public info available. The C-17 can lift roughly twice the load, will, after all of the cost overruns in the A-400 program be probably fairly comparable in cost and its in service and working right now. On the debit side its a 15 year older design, not that it matters one iota in this instance. This decision to keep pursuing the A400 is not economically based, it's politically and pride based. There may be further orders from existing C130 operators who do not want to buy US (as in C-17) which may help to turn around this programs fortunes, but that will depend on the unit price and how closely Airbus has met it's design parameters. If they only sell the ordered numbers then this really will just be a 'sheltered workshop' for Airbus, and a government sponsored employment program for the EU.

User avatar
Verbal
Posts: 3318
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:04 pm
Location: Planet Bacterion

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Verbal » Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:13 pm

If they only sell the ordered numbers then this really will just be a 'sheltered workshop' for Airbus, and a government sponsored employment program for the EU.
So how does that differentiate the A400M from every other EADS/Airbus program?
"I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability."

User avatar
flyboy2548m
Posts: 3793
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:32 am
Location: Ormond Beach, FL

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby flyboy2548m » Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:13 pm

There are too many other programs that are being designed for the euro militaries for this program to fail now. Quite a few items of new hardware are around the 30 - 35 tonne payload, so if the A400 is cancelled the only alternative would be C-17's or that Antonov design (An-70?) that was shelved a while back. That sized payload is too much for a Herc. Interestingly, LM is looking at a larger, more powerful derivative of the C130 with a payload and load bay around the same size as the A 400. Only a design proposal for now. So it will go ahead, the question is how close to the design targets will they be and how long will it remain in service.
FWIW, the An-70 hasn't been shelved, but it certainly isn't proceeding very quickly.
Chief Pilot/ACJ Program Manager, Vandelay Industries, Inc

Marc 1
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 2:24 pm

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Marc 1 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:57 pm

If they only sell the ordered numbers then this really will just be a 'sheltered workshop' for Airbus, and a government sponsored employment program for the EU.
So how does that differentiate the A400M from every other EADS/Airbus program?
Quite a big difference - on military production lines, the staff get Nair in the staff showers, razors only in the commercial aircraft assembly line showers.

Marc 1
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 2:24 pm

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Marc 1 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:13 pm

There are too many other programs that are being designed for the euro militaries for this program to fail now. Quite a few items of new hardware are around the 30 - 35 tonne payload, so if the A400 is cancelled the only alternative would be C-17's or that Antonov design (An-70?) that was shelved a while back. That sized payload is too much for a Herc. Interestingly, LM is looking at a larger, more powerful derivative of the C130 with a payload and load bay around the same size as the A 400. Only a design proposal for now. So it will go ahead, the question is how close to the design targets will they be and how long will it remain in service.
FWIW, the An-70 hasn't been shelved, but it certainly isn't proceeding very quickly.
Crumbs, you are not kidding! First flight 1994, testing continues... Just refreshed my memory on the AN70, sounds like a far better alternative than the A-400 anyway.

Marc 1
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 2:24 pm

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Marc 1 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:43 am

11 December looks like being the first flight...

The aircraft is scheduled to take off Dec. 11 if ground tests go smoothly and weather conditions are optimal.

"An unexpected circumstance can always delay take-off by a few hours, even a few days, at the last moment," Airbus Military director Domingo Urena said.

User avatar
Princess Leia
Posts: 629
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:44 am

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Princess Leia » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:35 pm

A400M completed high speed RTO test today. FF is scheduled for Friday.
May a plethora of uncultivated palaeontologists raise the dead in a way that makes your blood boil

User avatar
supersean
Posts: 1103
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:45 pm

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby supersean » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:15 am

If they only sell the ordered numbers then this really will just be a 'sheltered workshop' for Airbus, and a government sponsored employment program for the EU.
So how does that differentiate the A400M from every other EADS/Airbus program?
Quite a big difference - on military production lines, the staff get Nair in the staff showers, razors only in the commercial aircraft assembly line showers.
I thought it was their liveries.
proudly serving WTF comments since 2003

User avatar
tds
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:55 pm
Location: ...a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby tds » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:32 am

"An unexpected circumstance can always delay take-off by a few hours, even a few days, at the last moment," Airbus Military director Domingo Urena said.
Wasn't he in The Princess Bride?

Marc 1
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 2:24 pm

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Marc 1 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:02 pm

"An unexpected circumstance can always delay take-off by a few hours, even a few days, at the last moment," Airbus Military director Domingo Urena said.
Wasn't he in The Princess Bride?
Yes. Always good to have another gig on the side in case EADS decides its all too much trouble.

User avatar
Verbal
Posts: 3318
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:04 pm
Location: Planet Bacterion

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Verbal » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:46 pm

It is all rapidly devolving before our eyes.
EADS pleads for €5bn to complete A400M
Financial Times 12/10/2009
Authors: Jeremy Lemer and Gerrit Wiesmann
© 2009 The Financial Times Limited. All rights reserved

EADS, the European defence and aerospace group, has asked the seven partner nations behind the much-delayed A400M military transport aircraft for a further €5bn ($7.36bn) to complete the project.

Should the countries agree, it would raise the project costs by about 25 per cent but would provide a lifeline to EADS .

Officials are reviewing the request, according to German defence ministry officials. Senior negotiators will discuss the topic further tomorrow in Seville, Spain, where the A400M is scheduled to make its much anticipated first flight .

The A400M deal, signed in 2003, was a fixed-price €20bn contract, making EADS's Airbus subsidiary responsible for all overruns. EADS has already made provisions for €2.4bn of losses on the A400M and is burning through €140m of cash a month on the project.

But it is tied to the aircraft because cancelling would trigger €5.7bn of development funding repayments and damage its credibility.

Still it will be a difficult deal to sell to the customer countries that between them have ordered 180 of the mid-sized military transporters. Defence budgets are under pressure due to the financial and economic crisis. An EADS spokesman declined to comment on the request.

The partner nations have been in intense discussions with EADS since March, when Airbus breached its contract after missing a key deadline to fly the aircraft, giving them a strong negotiating position.

Currently they are working to a year-end deadline to rescue the flagship collaborative procurement programme, but negotiations in France and Germany have proved fruitless.

Options on the table include raising the price, maintaining the price but reducing the number of aircraft by about 40, cutting the specifications of the aircraft or splitting the purchase into several tranches to spread out the costs over a longer period.

Negotiations have been complicated by different national priorities. Germany has taken a particularly tough line, demanding that the original contract be retained in full. Britain is torn between a desire to save cash and a need to get the aircraft into service and France and Spain want to protect EADS as an industrial champion.

One German official said it was still hard to see what a solution could look like. "But everyone is working towards a deal," the official said. "One thing is for sure - none of the governments want this problem around over and beyond Christmas."
"I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability."

User avatar
supersean
Posts: 1103
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:45 pm

Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby supersean » Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:11 am

It is all rapidly devolving before our eyes.
Things are going to get real ugly real quick.... this is critical juncture that very well become the program end.. EADS may have biten off more than they can chew and not mind losing this one to allow focus on their bread & butter... commercial operations.
proudly serving WTF comments since 2003


Return to “Military Aviation Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest