The Airbus A400M MSN4´s life cycle involves an finish. With greater than 2,000 flight hours, 1,000 flights and lots of missions and campaigns accomplished, the Airbus prototype often called `Grizzly 4´ among the many workforce, returns to Bremen after practically twelve years of pushing boundaries to develop A400M capabilities to its most. With the pilots Michel Gagneux and Luis Daniel Sabariegos within the cockpit, the MSN4 carried out its final flight to Bremen – no 1,000 and final one in its profession – the place it will likely be displayed to any extent further for a well-deserved retirement after practically twelve years in service, and after its extraordinary contribution to the event of the A400M. Since its first flight on 20 December 2010, the workforce behind the MSN4 has taken on each problem alongside the way in which, and now faces its retirement with satisfaction on how this plane helped reimagine the way forward for navy operations, turning the A400M into the mature, dependable and trendy plane it’s at the moment.

Airbus A400M MSN4 has been used for all types of check flight campaigns by way of the years to develop key capabilities reminiscent of Aerial Supply, Low Stage Flight or Air-to-Air Refuelling, amongst others. With round 200 flights and 500 flight hours contained in the cockpit of the MSN4, Ignacio Lombo, Chief Take a look at Pilot at Airbus Defence and House, has been witness and contributor to the event of the A400M. MSN4 has additionally been key within the growth and certification of the Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) functionality as it’s essential for A400M operators at the moment to fly additional and safer on their navy operations, in addition to having the ability to good combos with different navy platforms.


Airbus A400M MSN4 “Grizzly 4” Prototype Plane

“I’ll maintain Grizzly 4 in my reminiscence as a powerful and strong beast. We now have taken it to the restrict in velocity, Mach, altitude, load issue (g’s) and virtually tore off its pores and skin!. This plane has exceeded all expectations in all types of operations with superior efficiency. If I had to decide on, I’d say Air-to-Air Refuelling as receiver was probably the most difficult one. There was quite a lot of work behind the event of this functionality. By completely different steps, we reached the Flight Management Legal guidelines to carry out the receiver position in a straightforward means with respect to different platforms. As a pilot, it has been incredible to fly on completely different Flight Management Legal guidelines and, step-by-step, we managed to succeed in the right manoeuvrability of the plane,” Ignacio Lombo mentioned.

The MSN4 has been the determinant for the event and certification for cargo and parachute drops – these being key capabilities for A400M operators at the moment – because it was designed in such a means that the cargo maintain was freed from instrumentation and, due to this fact, absolutely usable for aerial supply or extra gasoline tanks (CHT). The A400M at the moment excels within the parachuting position, because it is ready to carry extra paratroopers over a higher distance, a functionality that reinforces the strategic worth the A400M already presents to air pressure operators and society. Greater than 100 A400M plane are deployed at the moment in 8 completely different international locations and, as a part of Airbus’ compromise to a extra sustainable navy aviation, the MSN4 was additionally the primary plane among the many Navy Air Programs unit to carry out a primary demo flight with Sustainable Aviation Gas (SAF) final summer time, guiding its successors right into a cleaner future and serving to to pave the way in which in direction of the decarbonisation of navy aviation.

Airbus A400M MSN4 "Grizzly 4" Prototype Aircraft
Airbus A400M MSN4 “Grizzly 4” Prototype Plane