Europrop International (EPI) has achieved a double success, delivering the last of the four TP400-D6 flight test engines which will power the first Airbus A400M and reaching the milestone of 1,000 hours of engine ground testing.
The final engine for the first aircraft was dispatched last week and has now arrived at the final assembly line of the A400M military transport aircraft in Seville. The installation of the engines onto the first flight test aircraft is now underway and this will involve integration with the propeller and nacelle. The first flight of the A400M is scheduled to take place during summer time.
In addition to the flight test programme, a number of TP400 engines continue to undergo extensive performance and operability tests throughout Europe on EPI partners’ indoor and outdoor test facilities demonstrating the engine characteristics and durability.
Nick Durham, the President of EPI, said: “This has been a challenging programme and the delivery of the first ship-set of TP400 flight test engines is an important milestone and, combined with the rapidly increasing rate of ground testing, shows that we are really making significant progress.”
“We can now look forward to a flight test programme which proves that we have designed an engine that satisfies all the performance criteria and sets new standards for a turboprop of this size”, said Philippe Petitcolin, non-executive Chairman of EPI.
In parallel to the work in Seville, the TP400 Flying Test Bed engine is about to commence ground vibration testing at Marshall Aerospace in Cambridge, UK, prior to first flight on a modified C-130 aircraft.
Challenges remain and EPI is confident and fully committed to working with Airbus Military to resolve them in a timely manner and make the programme a success.
EPI Europrop International GmbH was created by four leading European aero-engine companies - Industria de Turbo Propulsores, MTU Aero Engines, Rolls-Royce and Snecma (SAFRAN Group) - to manage the TP400 engine programme.
Designed to power the Airbus Military A400M military transport, the TP400 will be the most powerful turboshaft engine to enter service in the West. It features a three-shaft configuration and will deliver a maximum power output of 11,000 shaft horsepower. More than 800 engines will be required for the 192 A400M aircraft ordered to date by nine countries.
For further information and pictures, visit the EPI website on www.europrop.aero