Airbus Military has today reconfirmed that it will deliver the first four new generation A400M airlifters to customers in 2013 as planned, following the development of solutions to the recent engine issue, which prevented the A400M from participating in the Farnborough Air Show flying display.
As communicated, we recently had an engine issue on MSN6, the first production representative development aircraft. After receiving the Restricted Type Certificate (RTC) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) last April, representing a big milestone and achievement in the programme, MSN6 started performing the 300 hour Function and Reliability (F&R) testing required for the award of the full Type Certificate (TC). Tests had to be suspended after 160 hours of F&R flying because of the repeated detection of metallic chips in the oil system of one of the engines.
Airbus Military has supported the engine manufacturer Europrop International (EPI) in its investigations of the root cause and fixes. EPIís investigations have demonstrated that the failure does not impact the enginesí full capabilities and that the chip detection was provoked by a crack of a cover plate, a mechanical piece isolating elements within the Propeller Gear Box (PGB). As a responsibility of EPI, they have already made a new design available, which is currently in the validation process.
Consequently, the MSN6 engines as well as all series production engines have been sent back to EPI for replacement of this cover plate.he lead-time of the cover plate replacement in order to resume the F&R flying as soon as possible. F&R activity will be able to restart when MSN6 is fitted with the modified engines and upon agreement with EASA of a new F&R plan.
See the full article at Airbus Military