Airworthy Art Thou

European Aviation Safety Agency officials certified the airworthiness of Airbus Military’s A400M airlifter, issuing the four engine propjet an “initial type certificate,” announced the company. “Achieving civil and military certification of the A400M . . . is an immensely challenging task, but the process of working on both simultaneously provides important benefits for our customers,” said A400M program chief Cedric Gautier in the company’s release marking the May 3 milestone. Airbus’ five A400M developmental airplanes logged a combined total of 3,100 flight hours spanning three continents to earn initial civil certification. The fleet must complete 300 hours of “function and reliability” tests to earn full civil certification. The company hopes to attain full civil certification this summer “despite continued engine challenges,” according to the release. The first production A400M earmarked for France is currently under construction.