The Airbus A400M military transport aircraft has completed a major helicopter air-to-air refuelling (AAR) certification campaign.
With the latest milestone, the company has achieved the majority of the helicopter’s development and certification goals.
The flight tests were performed along with two French Air Force H225M helicopters over the west coast of France.
Airbus noted that the certification campaign was carried out at different conditions during the day and night at altitudes between 1,000ft and 10,000ft and at flight speeds as low as 105k.
During the campaign, 81 wet contacts operations were made and 6.5t of fuel was transferred.
The tests also saw the refuelling of two helicopters at the same time.
It also proved the positive results of the ‘dry and wet contact operations’ performed in the last two years.
The A400M is a military transporter designed to meet the requirements of Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Turkey, Luxembourg, and the UK airforces.
In May last year, the Airbus A400M received certification of its Automatic Low-Level Flight capability.
According to Airbus, the A400M has already showcased its capability to refuel fighter jet receivers such as Eurofighter, Rafale, Tornado or F/A-18.
It can also conduct buddy refuelling with another A400M and refuel other large aircraft such as C295 or C-130.
The tanker can carry up to 50.8t of fuel in its wings and centre wing box, and an additional 5.7t of fuel each in two additional cargo hold tanks.