Airbus Military begins final assembly of first A400M

Airbus Military has begun final assembly of the first A400M, to be delivered to the French Air Force in late 2012 or early 2013.

Following the launch of A400M series production last February, Airbus Military (Madrid, Spain) reported on Nov. 23 that it has begun final assembly of the first A400M that will be delivered to a customer — the French Air Force.

The fuselage for the aircraft, known as MSN7, arrived at the final assembly line in Seville (Spain) on board an Airbus Beluga. The wings and nose arrived some days earlier and the integration of the central box and outer wings has already begun. The horizontal tailplane (HTP) is expected next week and the vertical tailplane (VTP) in two weeks time.

France will receive its first A400M military airlifter around the turn of the year 2012-2013. Eight serial A400M aircraft are already at different stages of production.

The A400M is a composites-intensive, all-new military airlifter, designed to fly higher, faster and further, while retaining high manoeuvrability, low speed, and short, soft and rough airfield capabilities.