Airbus’ A400M heavy-lift tactical transport has achieved another milestone after the platform gained certification of its Automatic Low-Level Flight capability.
The certification campaign was performed in central France and the Pyrenees throughout April, during which the aircraft was flown at altitudes of 500ft (153m) and performed transitions from low-level flight to other operations, such as aerial delivery.
According to the company, this milestone was the first of two certification phases for the A400M’s Automatic Low-Level Flight capability. It focused on visual meteorological conditions – where the crew has visibility during flight. The second phase is scheduled to take place during the first half of next year, and will trial the aircraft during instrumental meteorological conditions (IMC) – where the crew has no visibility.
In a press release issued on May 26, Airbus Defence and Space said that the Automatic Low-Level Flight capability “improves the A400M’s terrain masking and survivability, making the aircraft less detectable in hostile areas and less susceptible to threats when cruising towards key military operations like aerial deliver, air-to-air refuelling, logistic or other specific special operations”.
The Automatic Low-Level Flight capability is a unique feature of military transports and is used to increase the platform’s efficiency during operations.