The A400M dropped up to 20 tons of water in less than ten seconds during a test. By comparison, a Canadian can drop six tonnes of water.
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Airbus is testing a kit that can convert an A400M into a water bomber in minutes. The flight test campaign was carried out in Spain in recent weeks, the manufacturer said in a press release published on Monday, July 25.
The A400M, a tactical military transport aircraft, is equipped with a prototype detachable fire apparatus. In a test carried out on Thursday, it dropped up to twenty tonnes of water in less than ten seconds at low altitude (45 meters / 150 feet) and low speed (230 km/h / 125 knots). publication. Another advantage of the A400M is that it can land on narrow, loose terrain, even on a beach. There it can be filled in five to ten minutes. By comparison, a Canadian can drop six tonnes of water.
“The A400M can play a leading role in combating the growing threat of wildfires and protecting ecosystems.”
The instrument tested by Airbus required no modifications to the aircraft. This makes it fully compatible with any device in the fleet. This allows the aircraft to quickly convert to a water bomber and intervene as soon as possible. Airbus has underlined that the capacity could go further if the Airbus can carry 20 tons of water in this phase test.
These tests have so far been carried out during the day. But Airbus plans to analyze this type of mission in night conditions to strengthen the aircraft’s capability and performance in this configuration.
Currently, France has nineteen A400Ms. A total of nearly fifty have been ordered. This solution would allow France “to increase its fleet of water bombers easily and cheaply”Airbus adds.
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