A400M composite wings pass stress test

The all-composite wing on Airbus Military's A400M was subjected to a load equal to 150 percent of the maximum bending load predicted in service.

Airbus Military reported on Aug. 3 that the all-composite wing of the new A400M 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 percent 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/4.6 ft during the test, which was completed at Airbus Military's Getafe, Madrid,Spain facility on July 22.

Senior vice president A400M chief engineer Alain Cassier said, “This successful test represents a major achievement for the A400M program on its route to certification. We are all delighted to have passed this key milestone in the structural test program, which further confirms the soundness of the A400M design.”

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