According to an Airbus Military press release the A400M test version MSN6 has successfully completed the 300 hours of Function & Reliability (F&R) flight-testing, which is a key requirement prior to full certification.
Having received the restricted Type Certification begin May this year, this phase of the flight-test programme was the last major requirement prior to full Type Certification. It is expected that the aircraft will receive the full civil Type Certificate and military Initial Operating Capability in the first quarter of next year - subject to the approval of the relevant authorities. First delivery to the French Air Force - of MSN7 - is planned for the second quarter of 2013.
The F&R testing was completed in 32 days, during which the aircraft made 52 flights and visited 10 different airfields. The exercise is intended to examine the aircraft´s behavior in conditions representative of normal in-service experience, including both routine and simulated abnormal operations in a wide range of weather and locations. It helps to minimize the risk to operational crews concerning potential malfunctions and failures on a new aircraft entering service.
Picture: Airbus Military