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Airbus tests military aircraft A400M as a water bomber – Science-Environment News – Report by AFR

Airbus said on Tuesday it had successfully tested its A400M military transport as a depth bomber as summer heatwaves fuel wildfires in Europe.

“Airbus successfully tested a detachable firefighting demonstrator kit on the new-generation A400M airlifter during a flight test campaign in Spain,” the European aircraft manufacturer said in a statement.

The test involved dropping 20 tons of water in less than 10 seconds, the statement said.

Airbus said the roll-on/roll-off kit does not require any modification to the A400M aircraft.

Water is stored in a fixed tank in the hold and retained by two independent doors. These doors are connected to two flood pipes so that when the drain is triggered, the water is expelled through two sections at the end of the ramp.

Because of its low-flying capability and low-speed maneuverability, the A400M can jettison payloads from water at very low altitudes to within 50 meters (150 feet), Airbus said.

“The development of this firefighting kit is an integral part of our journey to contribute to a more sustainable and safer world, not only through our actions but also through our products,” said Mike Schoellhorn, Head of Airbus Defense and Space.

“We firmly believe that the A400M can play an important role in combating the ever-growing threat of wildfires and helping to restore social and environmental systems.”

Airbus deputy chief of military aircraft Jean-Brice Dumont said the aim of using the A400M as a water bomber was not to compete with those of competitor Canadair, but to complement them.

Canadair’s water bombers have a capacity of 6,000 liters – only a third of the capacity of the A400M. But while the Canadair water bomber can scoop water from a lake, the A400M has to land to refill its water tanks.

Scientists say human-caused climate change is amplifying extreme weather — including the heat waves, droughts and floods seen in several parts of the planet in recent weeks — and saying these events are becoming more frequent and intense.

#Airbus #tests #military #aircraft #A400M #water #bomber

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