Oct 15, 2015 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: Airbus Defence and Space; issued Oct 14, 2015)
The wings for the first Airbus A400M new generation airlifter for the Spanish Air Force have arrived at the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in San Pablo, Seville. These first large elements of the aircraft, known as MSN44, were transported by ship from the UK where they were made to St Nazaire, France and then flown to Seville inside a specially designed giant Airbus Beluga aircraft.
MSN44 will shortly enter into the final assembly process in preparation for its delivery to the Spanish Air Force in the second quarter of 2016.
The picture shows the wings being unloaded from the open nose of the Beluga into the FAL through a set of doors shaped around the contours of the Beluga.
Airbus Defence and Space is a division of Airbus Group formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military. The new division is Europe’s number one defence and space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide and among the top ten global defence enterprises. It employs more than 38,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €13 billion per year.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Spanish executives of Airbus Defence and Space told Spanish media attending the wing delivery on Oct 14 that they plan to deliver 13 aircraft this year, “with the possibility of increasing it to 17 depending on the outcome of testing of a new configuration.)