Airbus has added one more function to the A400M airlifter, firefighting. For this, the manufacturer carried out a test campaign in Spain in partnership with the country’s Air Force.
Equipped with a removable firefighting kit, the four-engine turboprop was able to launch up to 20 tonnes of water in less than 10 seconds at minimum speeds of just 232 km/h and at a height of 46 meters.
“The development of this firefighting kit is an intrinsic part of our journey towards helping to create a more sustainable and safer world, not only by our actions but also through our products. We strongly believe the A400M can play a vital role in the fight against the ever increasing threat posed by wildfires and support the restoration of social and environmental systems,” said Mike Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defense and Space.
According to Airbus, the kit requires no modification to the aircraft. It consists of a fixed tank to transport water in the cargo hold and which is connected to two independent ports and two flood pipes. “When the discharge is triggered, the water is expelled through two sections at the end of the ramp,” the company said.
The tests were carried out during the day, but Airbus said that in the future it will carry out operations in night conditions, to reinforce the effectiveness of the missions.