Airbus CEO Joins Parachutists In Jump From A400M


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Airbus CEO Joins Parachutists In Jump From A400M

By Jim Douglas

November 16, 2010 - A ten-man team of parachutists who jumped from the new Airbus Military A400M airlifter yesterday included Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders, and the A400M Program Manager at the OCCAR organization for the management of European Defense Program, Bruno Delannoy.

The two men, both accomplished skydivers, were part of a highly experienced team of Airbus staff and other experienced sport parachutists with 35,000 previous descents between them. They jumped from the ramp of development aircraft Grizzly 3 over the La Juliana drop-zone near Seville, Spain where the aircraft is assembled.

?It was an enormous pleasure for me to experience the excellent qualities of the A400M for paratroop operations. Paratroopers serving with our customer nations can be confident that the A400M will provide a far superior platform for their operations in future? said Enders.


Delannoy added ?It was a great privilege to be one of the first few people to jump from this new aircraft type and a very enjoyable experience for all of the team.? Airbus is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, near Toulouse, with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners. 

The Airbus A400M is a multi-national four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It was designed by Airbus Military as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities. The aircraft's maiden flight, originally planned for 2008, took place on 11 December 2009 in Seville, Spain. Currently 174 aircraft are ordered by 8 nations.  

The A400M assembly at the Seville plant of EADS Spain started in Q1 2007. Airbus plans to manufacture thirty aircraft per year. The major assemblies arrive by Airbus Beluga transporters. The four Europrop TP400-D6 flight test engines were delivered in late February 2008 for the first A400M. Static structural testing of a A400M test airframe began on 12 March 2008 in Spain.

The first test flight, originally scheduled for Q1 2008, was postponed due to program delays, schedule adjustments and financial pressures. EADS announced in early January 2008 that continued development problems with the engines had resulted in a delay to Q2 2008 before the first engine test flights on a C-130 testbed aircraft.


The first flight of the aircraft, previously scheduled for July 2008, had again been postponed. Civil certification under European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) CS-25 will be followed later by certification for military purposes. The A400M was "rolled out" in Seville on 26 June 2008 at an event presided by King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

Airbus began as a consortium of aerospace manufacturers. Consolidation of European defense and aerospace companies around the turn of the 21st century allowed the establishment of a simplified joint stock company in 2001, owned by EADS (80%) and BAE Systems (20%). After a protracted sales process BAE sold its shareholding to EADS on 13 October 2006. 

Airbus employs around 57,000 people at sixteen sites in four European Union countries: Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Final assembly production is at Toulouse (France), Hamburg (Germany), Seville (Spain) and, since 2009, Tianjin (China).[6] Airbus has subsidiaries in the United States, Japan, China and India. The company is known for producing and marketing the first commercially viable fly-by-wire airliner and the world's largest airliner, the A380.

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