Airbus believes it may finally have turned a corner with its A400M airlifter program. The troublesome transporter has had more than its fair share of teething problems, and has cost the manufacturer a fortune, including an eye-popping €2.2 billion ($2.31 billion) charge in 2016 alone.
But it seems that the company seems to have finally tamed the program.
Engine gearbox problems which haunted the project last year should finally be resolved at the end of this year, and negotiations with customers aimed at reducing a heavy burden of penalties and damages for late delivery appear to be progressing cordially say company officials.
-- Airbus testing its Pack 2 solution for the Power Gearbox issues
-- Negotiations to mitigate financial penalties began in late March
-- UK now has the largest fleet of A400Ms
-- Malaysia and Turkey have A400Ms with the most hours
And while the pace of developing the aircraft’s tactical capabilities may not be as fast as some customers would like, air forces are making use of the aircraft, and sending it into harm’s way safely.
“There were a lot of problems, now I have to say that things are really easy, things are going well,” Airbus’ head of military aircraft, Fernando Alonso told journalists here on June 9.
At the top of Alonso’s to-do list is finalizing a fix for the engine power gearbox (PGB) problems which emerged in early 2016 with the in-flight shutdown of an engine on a U.K. Royal Air Force aircraft. (end of excerpt)
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