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Airbus A400M achieves Automatic Low Level Flight certification


The Airbus A400M new generation airlifter has achieved a new decisive milestone after the certification of its Automatic Low Level Flight capability, offering a unique in its class capability for a military transport aircraft.

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Airbus A400M achieves Automatic Low Level Flight certification RAF A400M performing low level flights in Wales, Mach Loop, in 2017 (Picture source: Scott Norbury)


The Airbus A400M Atlas is a European, four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It combines the capability to carry strategic loads with the ability to deliver even into tactical locations with small and unprepared airstrips and can act as a frontline-tanker.

The certification campaign, performed in April above the Pyrenees and central France, involved operations down to 500ft, including transitions from low level flight to other operations like aerial delivery.

This first certification phase concerns operations with Visual Meteorological Conditions, meaning with crew visibility. There will be a second phase including Instrumental Meteorological Conditions, without visibility, to be certified in Q2 2021.

Inherent to the fighter aircraft world, and as a unique capability for a military transport aircraft, the Automatic Low Level Flights 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 delivery, air-to-air refuelling, logistic or other specific special operations.