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Thread: Airbus A400M

  1. #1
    Senior Member LH-B744's Avatar
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    Default Airbus A400M

    "Der A400M ist schon lange als Pannenflieger verschrien." quotation from tagesspiegel, Berlin, February 7th 2017. In English, with German as my mother tongue:

    "The A400M still has one or two problems in 2017."

    But why?

    "Am 19. Mai 2015 wurde gemeldet, dass Softwareprobleme den Airbus-Absturz verursacht hätten." quotation from de wiki 'Airbus A400M'. In English:

    "Since May 19th 2015 there is a communication about software problems in the A400M cockpit."

    But why? To avoid switching back and forth between German and English, I'll tell what I've read today in these two sources, in English. The German Department of Defense was not able to be transported with an A400M, and so, what happened. Btw, that incident didn't concern five or six German Air Force Generals plus 3 Colonels, but it concerned the chief of the German Department of Defense, the German Minister of Defense!

    What happened is, the German Minister of Defense had to board a German
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transall_C-160

    I wouldn't have opened this topic if I hadn't at least one question that I'm not able to answer.

    Why does Airbus sell a military aircraft which is not able to transport the German Minister of Defense?! Is it a question of airworthiness? When I read that the Transall had to take over, I spontaneously had another aircraft in mind (my nickname).

    PS: The A400M incident with the German Minister of Defense happened at EYKA (Flughafen Kaunas), approx 670 nautical miles away from here. That rather seems like a jet distance, but I'm not an A400M expert...
    As known since I am an aviation enthusiast (since 1984 or earlier), the airport most of the time is not responsible for aircraft failure.
    And, Gabriel, that's also the case if we talk about Los Rodeos.
    Last edited by LH-B744; 02-23-2017 at 12:55 AM. Reason: Location.
    In these final days of March 2018 I like to celebrate. In memoriam Joseph F. Sutter (*21.03.1921, Seattle WA). I don't have to google him, trust me.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Peter Kesternich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LH-B744 View Post
    (...) Why does Airbus sell a military aircraft which is not able to transport the German Minister of Defense?! (...)
    I think the more appropriate question here would be: "Why does the Bundesluftwaffe schedule an aircraft that is still plagued by teething troubles for a flight carrying the German Defense Minister?" One of their Bombardier Globals would have been enough to do the job. On the other hand, I think the transport arm of the Bundesluftwaffe basically operates like an airline and airlines do on occasion have equipment breakdowns. So honestly, if it hadn't been an A400M there would have been no story here. If we want to bash the A400M, there are better reasons for that than an aircraft going tech that was supposed to pick up the German Defense Minister.

  3. #3
    Senior Member LH-B744's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Kesternich View Post
    I think the more appropriate question here would be: "Why does the Bundesluftwaffe schedule an aircraft that is still plagued by teething troubles [...]
    We don't want to denunciate Airbus, at least that is true for me!

    And even if we are not happy with the situation, how could we, with Germany as our location.
    "airlines do on occasion have equipment breakdowns. " Hm. For everybody worldwide it is obvious the month when I became a Jetphotos member. Do I have to call it pure luck that, as far as I can think back, no German Minister of Defense ever relied on a LH-B744, and that no LH-B744 was unable to take off within ...let's say 12 hours?

    I know the a/c type that frequently is used for these purposes, if the route is much longer than 670 nautical miles. And you are even closer to the answer than me.

    What we both don't know, was the German Minister of Defense 'booked' on the A400M for the complete distance? Today I have learned, that an A400M is not a jet, but it isn't either a slow propeller. But that's a fact which doesn't help. I've just tried to imagine what I'd do if I planned to sit in a 747-400, with a seat number only for me, and as the B744 were not ready for t/o,
    "the airline"
    comes up with ... that comparison almost does not exist! The Transall is 10 meters shorter, and not much faster than half the speed of an A400M. In the last ten minutes I wasn't able to find an a/c that is more than 10 meters shorter and only half as fast as a B744.

    Especially the two A400M pilots must've been... very happy. So, what did they do after the Transall took off? Probably they asked the airport for... two liters of coffee for each pilot?

    I don't yet know the end of the story. Is the A400M still there? And the two A400M pilots?

    Btw, nice to see you 'on board' again.
    Last edited by LH-B744; 03-08-2017 at 06:21 PM. Reason: LH-B744 very rarely has such problems, afaik.
    In these final days of March 2018 I like to celebrate. In memoriam Joseph F. Sutter (*21.03.1921, Seattle WA). I don't have to google him, trust me.

    Aviation enthusiast since more than 30 years. Almost a decade here on this platform.

  4. #4
    Senior Member LH-B744's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Kesternich View Post
    I think the more appropriate question here would be: "Why does the Bundesluftwaffe schedule an aircraft that is still plagued by teething troubles for a flight carrying the German Defense Minister?" One of their Bombardier Globals would have been enough to do the job. On the other hand, I think the transport arm of the Bundesluftwaffe basically operates like an airline and airlines do on occasion have equipment breakdowns. So honestly, if it hadn't been an A400M there would have been no story here. If we want to bash the A400M, there are better reasons for that than an aircraft going tech that was supposed to pick up the German Defense Minister.
    It seems as if this rather complex propeller aircraft (!) is a little bit too complex. For who, the question is open. But only a few minutes ago, I read some substantial news, as if Airbus likes to reduce the A400M man-power. And I am not happy with this decision. Airbus is a good company, not only in Chicago, Mumbai and Sydney.

    But decide for yourself, is this an easy propeller aircraft cockpit (cp 747-400)?
    ..and of course, it's a jetphoto again:

    The Cockpit of an A400M (propeller aircraft).

    I always thought that for good (military) a/c, not necessarily the inventor as an engineer has to be on board for all flights, in case that 1 or 2 difficulties happen inflight. That's why since today I own this avatar.

    Really old people say, you better don't drive a car which not everybody on the Route 66 is able to repair.

    Now let's look again at that computer glass HUD propeller cockpit, and imagine, you've just landed the A400M at Wendover Airfield... Who then would be able to help you?

    PS: This is a jetphoto, but I saw it for the first time today. Imho, this is not a propeller cockpit. It rather fits into a B744 or even a 747-800 ! And I disagree with you.
    If the 400M were an aircraft which after 1 second is so brilliant that the Transall C-160 is no longer worth a word, then here I'd probably show beautiful jetphotos of 400M inflight. But that's not the case, keyword Verteidigungsministerium.

    Do you know somebody who is able to repair an A400M in the desert? With THAT cockpit?

    As I said, only since today I know how a propeller aircraft (troop carrier) cockpit should not look like.

    And you can be sure that a professional C-160 pilot does not always need the help of an engineer if there is a red light in the cockpit.
    In contrast to the A400M.

    Or why did this story end in a C-160?
    Last edited by LH-B744; 03-07-2018 at 11:19 PM. Reason: UA, QF, BA, everybody flies Airbus. But the 400M is a flop!
    In these final days of March 2018 I like to celebrate. In memoriam Joseph F. Sutter (*21.03.1921, Seattle WA). I don't have to google him, trust me.

    Aviation enthusiast since more than 30 years. Almost a decade here on this platform.

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    Senior Member LH-B744's Avatar
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    Another good question is,

    why has the 400M not become a success? Deep budget cuts imho never led somebody to success.

    And I am really proud to say that a man like Boeing Chief Engineer Joe Sutter
    [and we soon celebrate his 97th birthday, don't we.]

    was able to contradict his boss, when Sutter said, 'the 747 needs a certain amount of engineers. I am not able to work with less man-power.'

    These are Sutter's words as delivered on German television, which he spoke in presence of his boss, Bill Allen. A legend. Today, I would probably not be here without these words.

    Or at least, with a completely different nickname.

    PS (for insiders): Kesternich, is the 400M really more than an übertriebener Treppenwitz? I don't write that without a reason. Let's try to look at the C-17 Globemaster III (payload: 78 metric tons).
    The 400M loses against the C-17, although brandnew. And now comes the very bitter end of the joke (without translation):

    Im Dezember 2015 entschied das Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, aufgrund der bis 2018 nicht zu erreichenden Einsatzbereitschaft der A400M im taktischen Lufttransport, die Transall [...] noch bis 2021 einzusetzen.

    What Sutter would've said? >> - Probably only a short "LOL!"
    Last edited by LH-B744; 03-08-2018 at 12:09 AM. Reason: Joseph F. Sutter (1921-2016)
    In these final days of March 2018 I like to celebrate. In memoriam Joseph F. Sutter (*21.03.1921, Seattle WA). I don't have to google him, trust me.

    Aviation enthusiast since more than 30 years. Almost a decade here on this platform.

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    Why has the A400 not been a success ? Poor management by Airbus. They were unable to determine whether it should be more a C130 or a C-17. Is it tactical or is it strategic ? I don't think anyone knows. It was also probably a mistake to build a turboprop over a pure jet platform. The turboprop imposed substantially higher development costs than a tried and tested turbofan, and penalised its capabilities.

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    Senior Member LH-B744's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HalcyonDays View Post
    Why has the A400 not been a success ? Poor management by Airbus. They were unable to determine whether it should be more a C130 or a C-17. Is it tactical or is it strategic ? I don't think anyone knows. It was also probably a mistake to build a turboprop over a pure jet platform. The turboprop imposed substantially higher development costs than a tried and tested turbofan, and penalised its capabilities.
    Man, this is the reason why some of us are still here, after a complete decade. There's probably always (at least) 1 dude who's as long here as you..

    Btw, congrats. You're Here since more than 10 years? You must be really tough!

    You mention the Lockheed C-130. That's exactly what I mean. You can't really try to sell an a400M as something like a copy of a C-130, with a cockpit which seems to have been designed by a guy on crack who's no longer wanted in the iphone design section.
    And the C-130 still is in production? Since the inauguration, December 1956?!
    A European version of the C-130 with a jet cockpit does not really count, not with more than 2500 C-130 Hercules which have been produced since then.

    Well. I know where the Original is. And probably even when I became a jetphotos member, I knew that Airbus Industrie, Toulouse (est. 1970) is a little bit too young for me to be that big prototype.
    Thus, the a400M cockpit is a jet cockpit, it should rather be a European version of a very small Globemaster III.

    But it is not. It it even slower than a Globemaster, and, afaik, even 1 or two Globemaster pilots sometimes wonder why 1 or two Civilian Boeing pilots are faster...
    Last edited by brianw999; 03-09-2018 at 12:04 PM.
    In these final days of March 2018 I like to celebrate. In memoriam Joseph F. Sutter (*21.03.1921, Seattle WA). I don't have to google him, trust me.

    Aviation enthusiast since more than 30 years. Almost a decade here on this platform.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LH-B744 View Post
    ............ Today I have learned, that an A400M is not a jet, but it isn't either a slow propeller. .................
    The C-300J and the A400M are both turbo props which I consider to be jets.

    One of the cost drivers with the A400M is that it needs engines/props of different configuration - two where the prop rotates clockwise and two where the prop rotates anti-clockwise; this arrangement counteracts propeller torque. This engine configuration was controversial from the beginning of the program.

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    Senior Member LH-B744's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highkeas View Post
    The C-300J and the A400M are both turbo props which I consider to be jets.

    One of the cost drivers with the A400M is that it needs engines/props of different configuration - two where the prop rotates clockwise and two where the prop rotates anti-clockwise; this arrangement counteracts propeller torque. This engine configuration was controversial from the beginning of the program.
    You know that I decided to (not mention your nickname) during a question which a real jetphotos junior (during his very first forum entry here?!) tried to ask.. Is IAH really stronger than ORD. My first thought was, that's your question!

    Back on topic. Well. I have to live in the country where at least 2 domestic A400M pilots had to stay overnight (or more than 1 night) in the desert, because the A400M which was scheduled to take these two active pilots home (plus a rather unimportant person from the German Defense Ministry),
    provided a failure so that this A400M had to be declared a write-off.
    [I.e. Nobody on the planet was able to repair that bird in the desert!]

    And then, what happened. I know, that I wrote,

    I haven't heard something like that concerning my nickname. Why don't we use a LH-B744 to rescue these people?


    Please do not attack other members of the forum of of the jepthotos crew. Thank you for your understanding. -seahawk
    Last edited by seahawk; 04-01-2018 at 04:38 PM.
    In these final days of March 2018 I like to celebrate. In memoriam Joseph F. Sutter (*21.03.1921, Seattle WA). I don't have to google him, trust me.

    Aviation enthusiast since more than 30 years. Almost a decade here on this platform.

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    Administrator seahawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LH-B744 View Post
    You know that I decided to (not mention your nickname) during a question which a real jetphotos junior (during his very first forum entry here?!) tried to ask.. Is IAH really stronger than ORD. My first thought was, that's your question!

    Back on topic. Well. I have to live in the country where at least 2 domestic A400M pilots had to stay overnight (or more than 1 night) in the desert, because the A400M which was scheduled to take these two active pilots home (plus a rather unimportant person from the German Defense Ministry),
    provided a failure so that this A400M had to be declared a write-off.
    [I.e. Nobody on the planet was able to repair that bird in the desert!]

    And then, what happened. I know, that I wrote,

    I haven't heard something like that concerning my nickname. Why don't we use a LH-B744 to rescue these people?


    Please do not attack other members of the forum of of the jepthotos crew. Thank you for your understanding. -seahawk
    Hello,

    as much as we like your enthusiasm about aviation, let me put a few things right.

    1. no A400M of the Luftwaffe has been written off
    2. a 747 would surely make a fantastic looking transport aircraft for the Luftwaffe (even more so in the colours of the "Silberne Gans") but unfortunately you can not drive a Boxer or Puma into it and land at an semi-prepared airstrip afterwards.
    3. And that is the big point. Please show respect towards other users and our crew members. Your English is sometimes hard to understand, so misunderstandings do happen and your posts are often not understandable for persons who do not speak German and English.

    Thank your for your understanding.

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    Super Moderator brianw999's Avatar
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    Thank you Stefan.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Senior Member Peter Kesternich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seahawk View Post
    (...) Please show respect towards other users and our crew members. Your English is sometimes hard to understand, so misunderstandings do happen and your posts are often not understandable for persons who do not speak German and English.

    Thank your for your understanding.
    Amen to that!

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