The Airbus A400M Atlas transport aircraft has completed the certification flight test for the simultaneous dispatch of 80 equipped paratroopers from both side doors on a single pass.
After the inflight refueling of fighter jets and helicopters, the capacity for paratroopers to jump from side doors using a static line to automatically deploy their parachutes is a major milestone on the way for the A400M to be fully operational.
The latest tests were performed in coordination with the French Directorate General of Armament (DGA) together with French and Belgian Armed Forces, and took place Ger Azet drop zone in southern France during daylight. The simultaneous dispatch of 80 paratroopers saw 40 of them jumping from each door. Another test also confirmed the capability of the aircraft to deploy 58 paratroopers from one side door, its maximum dispatch capacity from a single door. The A400M is expected to eventually deploy up to 116 paratroopers simultaneously, something that will not be tested before 2020.
“The completion of the test campaign concludes a very complex exercise built together with the A400M Customer Nations around the confidence in the aircraft and the highest safety requirements,” states Airbus. The total campaign consisted of 9 flights and 564 jumps.
The last few weeks have been particularly crucial in the certification campaign of the A400M Atlas. On September 24, 2019, Airbus announced that its airlifter had successfully completed the first helicopter flight refueling test. Two days later, the French Armed Forces General Staff announced that the first operational cargo airdrop had been carried out in Mali.