It's taken a while to get here, but the TP400, the massive turboprop to power the A400M military airlifter, has now flown on its C-130K testbed.
The flight took place today at Marshall Aerospace’s Cambridge, England, facility, with takeoff at 10:44 a.m. local time and landing at 11:59 a.m. local time. The aircraft reached a top speed of 165 knots and altitude of 8,000 ft.
(pictures: Airbus Military)
The flight of the engine testbed had been repeatedly delayed, first by a slew of engine development problems, then difficulties in integrating the massive powerplant on the C-130, and most lately by poor weather. Engine testing on the ground began in 2005.
The 11,000-shp. engine is developed by the Europrop International joint venture of Rolls-Royce, Snecma, MTU and ITP.
The mission kicks off what is expected to be a test program involving around 50 flight hours. The A400M’s first flight is not expected until well into next year.