Marshall Aerospace reports it has completed a big milestone for the A400M: the first full powerplant run on the TP400 turboprop engine fitted to the C-130 flying test bed.
(credit: Marshall Aerospace)
The modified C-130 completed 2 hours of ground runs, which Marshall Aerospace says “represented the first proper shakedown of both the TP400 powerplant and propeller at full power.”
More tests are planned this week. Depending on the outcome of the next three or four similar tests, Marshallwill assess whether it can commence taxi trials to move the C-130 testbed toward first flight. The engine still has to be tested in more strenuous crosswind conditions.
The C-130 has to complete about 50 hours of flight trials before the A400M itself can move to first flight, although government and industry officials indicate that Airbus Military may try to press the airlifter into the air earlier.
First flight of the A400M had been repeatedly delayed. The big question now is whether Airbus Military can get the aircraft airborne before year-end.