A400M

If the rules can’t be broken, can they be bent?


HM F.I.GOV purchases an A400M of its own from the no longer required batch of airframes (23,24 & 25) and puts one into use.

Training, logistics and engineering support provided by U.K. M.O.D. under agreement.

Just a bit of hypothetical silliness.
It's not about how we use A400M, it's supposedly related to the Air Tanker PFI small-print. However, I've still not seen conclusive evidence that that's the case.

Regards,
MM
 

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Well it should. Remember the A400M is a bigger and more expensive aircraft, while the KC390 is more in line with the Hercules in terms of size and pricing.

Exactly. Yet Airbus marketed the A400M - initially at least - as a replacement for the C-130. With almost zero sales so far outside the participating nations, that is now subtlety changing.

As with A380, I’ve always felt Airbus made some questionable market analysis when designing the A400M spec.

Regards,
MM
 
Exactly. Yet Airbus marketed the A400M - initially at least - as a replacement for the C-130. With almost zero sales so far outside the participating nations, that is now subtlety changing.

As with A380, I’ve always felt Airbus made some questionable market analysis when designing the A400M spec.

Regards,
MM
Ahh, the A380. They might as well call it the E380, considering that Emirates is pretty much keeping them alive. The problem with the A380 has been the far too optimistic potential sales figures. Yes, there will be a place for it, especially in busy airports with slots constraints like Heathrow, and on some very high capacity long range routes, but there are only so many of them around. And airports have to be upgraded, specifically to handle it. And the engines need to be upgraded, but with a lack of new orders in the pipeline that's hanging in the limbo. Who knows it might make a great freighter one day like the 747. But then again there are so many cheap used 747s in the market for that sort of role.

@Magic_Mushroom what's the buzz like about the KC390 on the ground? I am assuming you're at Farnborough?

What would be interesting is a comparison of the KC390 vs. Kawasaki C-2, as they seem to be quite similar in terms of operational remit. Though the Kawi doesn't seem to have air refueling capabilities, at least at the moment.
 
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...@Magic_Mushroom what's the buzz like about the KC390 on the ground? I am assuming you're at Farnborough?
Nope, I'm not at Farnborough.

I can't say I've heard too much about the KC390. However, on paper it looks good and the Kiwis I've spoken to recently were very impressed indeed. More payload, more range and more speed than a C-130J but in roughly the same sized package with - allegedly - similar operating costs.

Low slung jet engines and rough field ops still worry me a tad however.

Regards,
MM
 
We took delivery of our 20th aircraft last week, with two more to come:

UK receives 20th A400M Atlas transport aircraft

With AAR receiver and initial airdrop trials going on, the RAF is starting to make this thing work (cos we have to!) and is the leader on type in terms of hours flown. It will be useful to us in the long run, but it will be a few years yet before it does anything like what we have done with the good old Herc. That said, I am sure the Herc had its teething troubles all those years ago, but its very ubiquity speaks for itself in terms of utility. A400M is not selling, even to its development/launch customers. That tells its own story.
 
We took delivery of our 20th aircraft last week, with two more to come:

UK receives 20th A400M Atlas transport aircraft

With AAR receiver and initial airdrop trials going on, the RAF is starting to make this thing work (cos we have to!) and is the leader on type in terms of hours flown. It will be useful to us in the long run, but it will be a few years yet before it does anything like what we have done with the good old Herc. That said, I am sure the Herc had its teething troubles all those years ago, but its very ubiquity speaks for itself in terms of utility. A400M is not selling, even to its development/launch customers. That tells its own story.
As I've always said, A400M will prove a useful strat and even Tac asset in some circumstances. However, I wonder if the para cross-over issues will ever be resolved, or that it will ever be an SF platform of choice. That rather leaves us in a quandary.

Regards,
MM
 
Ahh, the A380. They might as well call it the E380, considering that Emirates is pretty much keeping them alive. The problem with the A380 has been the far too optimistic potential sales figures. Yes, there will be a place for it, especially in busy airports with slots constraints like Heathrow, and on some very high capacity long range routes, but there are only so many of them around. And airports have to be upgraded, specifically to handle it. And the engines need to be upgraded, but with a lack of new orders in the pipeline that's hanging in the limbo. Who knows it might make a great freighter one day like the 747.
ergonomics and economics don't really work

Why Is There No Freighter Equivalent of the Airbus A380?

Air freight is measured in two ways: cube and weight. Cube refers to the volume of the freight. A plane is said to “cube out” when it’s fully filled up but doesn’t approach its weight capacity. The hypothetical freighter equivalent of the A380 would get too heavy as it approaches its volume limit.

An A380-F would be too fat to fly at a profit: The plane would hit the maximum payload (a constraint of weight) before its maximum cubic space (a constraint of volume). Its design can’t support the maximum payload required to generate a profit.


Consider a comparison with the Boeing 747-400F, a popular air freighter. The 747 has a maximum take-off weight of 448,000 kilograms to the A380’s 575,000. In addition, the 747 has a cargo capacity of 710 m3 to the hypothetical A380-F’s 1134 m3. The A380-F would be able to carry 60% more volume than the 747, but only 28%more weight. It wouldn’t be fully loaded at typical levels of air cargo density, or at least nothing close to what can be supported by the thrust capacity of the 747.
 
ergonomics and economics don't really work
The A380-F would be able to carry 60% more volume than the 747, but only 28%more weight. It wouldn’t be fully loaded at typical levels of air cargo density, or at least nothing close to what can be supported by the thrust capacity of the 747.
So it can carry a lot more hay compared to the 747 then? Or air.
 
As I've always said, A400M will prove a useful strat and even Tac asset in some circumstances. However, I wonder if the para cross-over issues will ever be resolved, or that it will ever be an SF platform of choice. That rather leaves us in a quandary.

Regards,
MM
I think it's a tad on the larger size for special ops. Could be wrong. The C130Js are probably still more suited to those kind of ops. I quite like the new C-130J-SOF.
 
Edit @Baglock - other posters pipped me and I didn't quote

Not sure im buying into that particular argument
Bulking out is as likely as maxing out on weight - hence C130-30 - then there's floor loading constraints etc.

The 747 does have far more cargo space height for much of its length. -
The A380 is full twinned decks so 9ft** is the height on the main deck for its total length
The 747 has 6ft or more above the passenger luggage bins on the main deck - that potentially gives a cargo bay height of 15ft

Not sure whether a (Side) freight doors feasible in the A380 either

Then of course there the whole hinged front end - not only does the 747 raised upper deck of the 747 better lend itself to this - theres no point even attempting it on the A380 owing to the full length decks.

That's possibly a better set of reasons the 747 is better suited to cargo than comparing MTWA / volume


**Ish - from memory - I needed to stand on a ladder to reach the beams
 
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As I've always said, A400M will prove a useful strat and even Tac asset in some circumstances. However, I wonder if the para cross-over issues will ever be resolved, or that it will ever be an SF platform of choice. That rather leaves us in a quandary.

Regards,
MM
Exactly; our Herc fleet has been reduced to the point where it can only realistically do SF sp but it still gets tasked for routine Tac AT tasks because commanders demand them (see the opening days of Op RUMAN). They demand them because they either do not know Atlas can do routine ass&trash stuff or they do not trust Atlas to deliver. This puts pressure on both air and ground crew which further reduces availability. Combine that with the ever-increasing demand for C-17 and you can see why we are having to make Atlas work for us, much to the disapproval of the "let's blame our lack of availability on the aircraft" Germans (IHMO), who would love it to fail so they can get out of their contractual obligations.

As an aside, have we decided on "Fat Lass" or "At Last" as a suitable nickname?
 
. . . we are having to make Atlas work for us, much to the disapproval of the "let's blame our lack of availability on the aircraft" Germans (IHMO), who would love it to fail so they can get out of their contractual obligations.
What better, further, additional, incentive could we/the RAF/UK, require or need to "make it work"?! ;) .
 
With AAR receiver and initial airdrop trials going on, the RAF is starting to make this thing work (cos we have to!) and is the leader on type in terms of hours flown.
I remember a few years ago, the RAF being castigated because the Jean-Pauls and the Hermans among others, theoretically had more aircraft per man/dollar. i.e we were "tail heavy" in comparison.

Given the problems with German Typhoon availability, A400 almost everywhere but here, the recent French reliance on RAF Transport and Rotary wing assets, I'm wondering if those people are starting to realise that you can't build sustainable meaningful air power without you pay for the foundations.*


* A statement I realise equally applicable to Land, Sea and Joint Operations
 
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