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Airbus A400M to Make First Civilian Air Show Appearance

July 26, 2017The Airbus A400M Atlas will make its first appearance at a U.S. civilian air show when it arrives at 9 a.m. Thursday at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017.

Barton Greer, senior manager of corporate communications for Airbus, said the A400M will be parked on Boeing Plaza until it departs at 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

The A400M Atlas, in service with the British Royal Air Force, is in the United States as part of a joint training exercise. “It’s quite a win to get the aircraft here, since it now belongs to the Royal Air Force, although it is an Airbus platform,” Barton said. “We like to promote it as the airlifter of the 21st century.”

The highly maneuverable aircraft fulfills three vital mission capabilities in one platform: strategic airlift, tactical airlift, and aerial refueling, he said.

“It has an outsized cargo box that is so big, for example, that a Stryker can fit into the cargo bay,” Barton said. “It also has jet-like cruise speed, and the ability to land and take off from short and soft landing areas, such as in desert environments. We like to say it is designed to land in places, not bases.”

When in motion, its propellers look like they are turning counterclockwise. “But the rotors rotate counter to one another to increase airspeed and lift,” Barton explained.

Not surprisingly, the plane is big — 148 feet long, 48 feet high, with a 139-foot wingspan, to be exact.

Designed as the next level in transport aircraft, the A400M can hold up to 116 fully equipped troops and has a maximum cruise speed of 433 knots. It has four turboprop engines, and is capable of an 81,400-pound max payload transported 1,780 nm without refueling. The A400M’s maiden flight was in December 2009 in Seville, Spain. 

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