Monday, January 7, 2013

The A400M or the tribulations of an ambitious European aeronautics and political

Once again this is Sparaco - who needs no introduction - who fired first, leaving the Editions Privat a beautiful book entitled "The A400M is a European saga."

Known diplomat Sparaco it! Grading in his book on A400M "a European saga" should more accurately read "the tribulations of the European A400M!" But no matter puns. While the jumbo quad turboprop military had at least the beginnings heckled. Say between the first all press releases announcing the launch of the European aircraft (remember: in late 1982, when it announced the creation of the concept FIMA Future International Military / Civil Airlifter) and the first flight of the aircraft December 11, 2009, a lot of turbulence rocked delivery of the aircraft.

Sparaco even devotes a chapter of his book to his "delays in all directions." With language we know it, he speaks of "exchanges sometimes severe, [the] comments in different directions, [the] technical explanations [that] led a long debate, in essence, has clearly a development schedule too tight and an underestimation of technical problems to solve. Those responsible for the A400M and its powertrain have just enough time to work in good conditions ... "(page 106).

But no matter what even late! The machine "manages to incorporate the latest technologies and meet the operational capabilities of three different planes: tactical airlifter capable of operating from very short runways and unprepared, with the ability to take charge of corresponding to logistics carriers, it can also be configured to serve as a refueling aircraft. "(Domingo UreƱa-Raso, president of Airbus Military, foreword to the book). For this European aircraft that combines the skills of industrial Germany, France, Turkey, Spain, the United Kingdom and Belgium, is, and will long remain a symbol of European technological development aircraft. The only FADEC system for the A400M (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) due to Snecma for the computer and MTU Aero Engines for the software, illustrates the sophistication of the aircraft much more advanced than similar equipment fitted to other civil or military aircraft, including A380!

This is the story of the new flagship of the European aeronautics industry is told brilliantly in this new book.And Sparaco, in aircraft, knows and not a little. As usual, a few anecdotes Sparaco book or some entirely new ideas, those that unearths the evening by talking directly with program stakeholders. And this remark Fabrice Cressiot, flight test engineer and responsible A400M Cazaux center of the DGA, which describes the aircraft as "Sherpa air" (page 114)

The 144 pages of this volume is lavishly illustrated large-format photos all the more impressive as each other, and often published on a double page story highlighting their aesthetic side. Some are breathtaking: five flight training A400M, skydiving, flight testing by extreme cold ... Finally, "from the moment he should avoid isolating the A400M compared to other stakeholders, an inventory is required. "(Pages 126 et seq.)The book speaks Sparaco and the C-27J, C-130J, KC390, C-17A ...

And yet Sparaco acknowledges that he "struggled a lot" to write this book. Not in the sense of writing (Pierre has published dozens of books!), But in the sense of seeking information. "I discovered Sparaco says he had almost no records on this project! Why? Maybe because the first team to design what was then called the Euroflight was based in Rome, Italy, and when he left the program tactical airlifter European military, it simply destroys some account records of meetings and other records she had. It took the support and effective cooperation Barbara Kracht (long press relations manager of Airbus) and some Angel Hurtado, based in Madrid, so I can meet the pioneers of adventure A400M, and thus perform my investigations needed to write the book! '

A400M saga European Sparaco
Editions Privat - 144 pages - 32 euros / ISBN: 978-2-7089-9242-9

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