The A400M military transport plane has completed indoor ground testing on the final assembly and moved outdoors for a series of outdoor ground tests.

The A400M airlifter will be used for UN Nato ATOP missions in inter-theatre warfighting, peace-keeping and humanitarian interventions.

Outdoor trials will include fuel tests, pressurisation tests, as well as navigation and communication checks and will last about two weeks.

The aircraft will then receive its engines and the auxiliary power unit (APU).

Presently, all four engines have been assembled and fitted with their propellers. The engines will be mounted onto the aircraft after installation of the final FADEC engine software.

Before the engines are integrated into the aircraft, it will be fitted with dummy engines to simulate the weight in the wings and to allow for proper fuel calibration tests.

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The airlifter will perform its first flight by the end of 2009.