A hardworking versatile aircraft that can serve as a „three in one“. The Airbus A400M Atlas manages to combine several seemingly difficult roles. It has a strategic range, it can land on a relatively short and unpaved surfaces, and it can perform a classical transport role, air-to-air refuelling or medical transport.
The A400M Atlas is a four-engine turboprop tactical transport aircraft with strategic capabilities developed by Airbus in cooperation with several NATO nations. The effort of European countries to replace older transport aircraft Lockheed C-130 Hercules and Transall C-160 began already in the 1980s. The A400M took off for the first time in 2009 in Spain. It was then put into service in 2013. First completed operational mission of the A400M of the French Air Force was part of the operation Serval in Mali. The German machine acted as a tanker in Jordan during the campaign against ISIS. Aircraft from multiple countries were deployed during the response to Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean and during the evacuation operation from Afghanistan in August 2021.
Among the specifics of the Atlas are counter-rotating propellers which improve its flight characteristics. They are powered by Europrop TP400-D6 engines, each with a power of 8250 kW. The 17.71-meter-long cargo hold can accommodate up to 37 tonnes of material, 116 fully equipped soldiers or 66 military stretchers. The plane can take off from an unpaved runway that is at least 940 meters long.
Currently, the A400M can be found in the inventories of Germany, France, Spain, United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, or Turkey. Of the non-European countries, Malaysia uses Atlases. A total of 100 aircraft have been produced so far, with Airbus registering another 74 on order.
|Empty weight||70 000 kg|
|Max takeoff weight||130 000 kg|
|Maximum speed||882 km/h|
|Service ceiling||11 300 m|