Airbus Defence and Space has demonstrated the capability of the A400M military airlifter to operate on a sand runway – the last of three unprepared types of surface on which it will be certified.
The tests using the development aircraft MSN2 took place over a three week period in August on a specially constructed airstrip at Woodbridge, United Kingdom.
A final week of tests will include operations at increasingly higher weights. The aircraft demonstrated performance in taxing maneuvers, such as U-turns, and during take-off and landing on the 1,600m strip. These tests followed earlier results on the gravel surface at Ablitas in Spain and a grass runway at Écury in France.