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Guest IanP

Airbus A400M in US colors...

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have seen a few repaints of the A400M in US military colors. Looks nice, but wonder if this isnt politically impossible. I just dont see the US military buying a direct competitor to the Lockheed C-130 and in some missions the Boeing C-17. This would hurt the US military manufacturing sector. Granted the C-130 (even J model) is getting a bit long in the tooth, but politically this doesnt seem to wash.Anybody have any specific info on US views on the A400? Im all for capable aircraft...but this seems far fetched. Eric

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Maybe it's not feasible to sell to the US government, but I think there have been quite a few orders placed by European militaries. It's definately more cost-effective to operate than the C-130.

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so what you're saying is... people believe in the free market, until they see it in action against their nationalism

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Many C-130's are reaching the end of their airframe life cycle.The C-130 J was a failure as a replacement upgrade.The early plans back in the 80's were for the C-17 to replace both the C-141 and the C-130 - but that isn't working out very well.The C-130 is an extremely versitile and effective aircraft, not only for the US military but world wide.Unfortunately the United States has no plans to manufacture the replacement aircraft which will be needed before too long.Personally I think the A-400M is one of the better business decisions Airbus has ever made. With the US bowing out of the running, the only competition would be Russian, Chinese or Japanese. Airbus is years ahead of them in development.That airframe type and capacity will be needed for a long time to come - and the A400M should cost significantly less to operate than the C-130.

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I just hope the Wilco version is a sign of things to come with Airbus modelling in FS, as it's a pleasure to fly. As to whether or not US military will buy it there are no orders from the US yet, but many other confirmed orders from around the world, not just Europe. If the Wilco one and the Airbus Military site are anything to go by it will be a sweet replacement, and every bit as mission capable as the old C130 was (is). I think Airbus will come up a lot, and in a lot of areas of aviation, already they are giving the likes of Boeing a run for their money. I'm no lover of Airbus planes (I think for looks the 747 kills the 340 hands down) but am in favour of competition.

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>Maybe it's not feasible to sell to the US government, but I>think there have been quite a few orders placed by European>militaries. It's definately more cost-effective to operate>than the C-130.The A-400M is not going to even deliver for at least 11 more years, so any statements about its supposed cost-effectiveness are nothing but advertising hype. If you need airlift before 2017, the A400M is super cost effective...it doesn't exist, therefore it costs nothing.Scarebus Industrie diverted a large number of its engineering staff from the A400M to the A380 because their delivery schedule to Singapore Airlines is seriously in jeopardy, and the contracts they have with them will result in giant penalties if they deliver late. So I wouldn't bet on that 2017 A400M delivery, either.CheersBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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>Many C-130's are reaching the end of their airframe life>cycle.And there are many hundreds of E and H models with many years still left on 'em.>The C-130 J was a failure as a replacement upgrade.no No NO!! Says who? Airbus??>The early plans back in the 80's were for the C-17 to replace>both the C-141 and the C-130 - but that isn't working out very>well.Absolutely false...the C-130 has never been slated for replacement by the Air Force. The C-17 was (and still is) intended to perform some of the mission roles that were formerly exclusively for the tactical airlifters, but it isn't an issue of "not working out very well" at all...the C-17 was bought in fewer numbers and is being used far more heavily in its strategic airlift role than anyone would have anticipated...it's succeeding famously in supporting a war being fought currently in two fronts, both nearly halfway around the world.>Unfortunately the United States has no plans to manufacture>the replacement aircraft which will be needed before too>long.The "United States" doesn't manufacture anything. But Lockheed Martin has the C-130J in production, and it is a far more capable aircraft than its predecessors. Their biggest problem is the longevity of the previous models.>>Personally I think the A-400M is one of the better business>decisions Airbus has ever made. With the US bowing out of the>running, the only competition would be Russian, Chinese or>Japanese. Airbus is years ahead of them in development.US bowing out of the running?? Given that LM has the only aircraft of this class actually in production through the next decade, I find this assumption of defeat and withdrawal stunningly ignorant.>That airframe type and capacity will be needed for a long time>to come - and the A400M should cost significantly less to>operate than the C-130.Again, says who? The A400M is still just an unrealized idea. And they have major engineering challenges still facing them...for example how they're going to be able to clean up the dirty flow behind the plane for use in airdrop and tanker applications.What the A400M should or shouldn't do is utterly immaterial, as it doesn't even exist yet...and won't for a long time still. And the rumors of the C-130J's demise are greatly exaggerated.RegardsBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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I'll never understand the hatred Airbus garners from some people. :-roll

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Bob, then why allow the closing of the C-17 plant by not ordering more?

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And the U.S.A has a serious history of ordering and using `overseas` products, often by licensing manufacture in the States, or via commercial offsets that ensure substantial business for US based businesses - GoshawkSpartanShorts 360DHC BeaverDHC OtterSpitfireMosquitoto name but a few - current, and present.So, as long as Airbus have a product that has no obvious replacement within the US industry (and the Airbus is `next-generation` whereas he C130J is still only a complex upgrade of the old basic design) I see no reason, other than jingoistic fervour, that would prevent Airus selling to the US military. They, after all, owe it to their soldiers, sailors and airmen to choose the best product for the job at the price.The payload/range/speed/field length combination of the A400M would require 2 or 3 C130J's to achieve the same productivity, so to regard the A400M as a competitor to a fifty year old design tha flies lower, slower, with less payload while using more fuel per cargo mile is a little unrealistic. It is not, it is a new product designed to meet the new challenges of the new era. The Herc has served magnificently, just like the DC-3 before it, but it's operating limits will increasingly limit its usefulness in the coming decades, before age renders it obsolete. The US have no `follow-on` planned for the C130 after the J so there is simply no basis for comparison between the J and the A400M. They are different classes of airlifters, and if the U.S. ientifies a need for an aircraft like the A400M, then they will buy it. The C-17 is a different category of airlifter again,but is actally closer in overall performance to the A400M than either are to the C130. If they are closing the C17 production lines, then the only market alternatives are the A400M or one of the Russian airlifters, and I can see that the Russian aircraft might be politically unacceptable, so what choice does it leave?Allcott

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This is descending into an Airliners.net thread.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v615/Dar...plewithears.gif---------------------------------------"If it doesn't have a VC, I won't be flying it http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v615/DarrenA300/smug.gif" ... hang on a minute .... http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v615/DarrenA300/unsure.gif ... that is too restrictive! Most flight simulator planes don't have a fully functional VC .... I'm happy to fly non-VC planes such as the brilliant iFDG range, Samdim's fantastic aircraft, POSKY's wonderful planes, and many many others! I'm the richer for it :).[/b]Advice for uploaders: please remove those horrible thumbs.db files - they are useless :)

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Not really `descending`, just trying to stop bigotry and over-zealous nationalistic ideology from clouding rational, reasoned judgement.The Not Invented Here syndrome is a major stumbling block to members of the armed forces receiving the best and most suitable product for their needs. Not just in the USA.The Hummer is a prime vehicle example - too big, too heavy, too thirsty, too complex and not bulletproof or mine-resistant, with little or no overseas sales potential. In the UK, we had the underdeveloped SA80 semi-automatic rifle at the army and it jams, it's not acurate, doesn't meet the requirements for the job for the majority - and costs twice as much as need be now that it's `fixed`.The French have an entire defence industry founded on the premise that they don't buy military hardware from other nations.The A400M can operate at airliner speeds, at airliner altitudes among the real airliners and with an unrefuelled radius of operation considerably in excess of what the C130J can manage (which has consistently failed to meet the fuel consumption guarantees offered by the engine manufacturer). At that height it is indistinguishable on radar form `normal` airliner traffic, and only the most insane anti-aircraft missile battery operator would risk an international incident by shooting down a civilian airliner. The flight profile of the C130 is identifiably `transport plane` and it's cruise capabilities put it at considerably greater risk.All of this needs to be considered before we start worrying about NIH. The fuss over the Presidents choice of next-generation helicopter when a European consortium presented a product that was technically and cost-effectively superior is the kind of warning signal that should send shivers up the spine of any member of the military who finds him/herself at excessive risk due to political whim, greed and jingoistic of self-serving politicians and bureaucrats. Allcott

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Not to forget the Harrier of course.>>The C-130 J was a failure as a replacement upgrade.>no No NO!! Says who? Airbus??The Royal Air Force has had several problems with the aircraft. For a start it could not be cleared for aerial refuelling which led to the IFR probes being removed.Perhaps you should have a read through these.http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/07/24/pentagon.planeaudit/http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...-2004Jul23.htmlA big quote from the articles>>"In eight years, the inspector general's report said, "not one C-130J delivered aircraft was fully compliant with the contract specification. . . . The Air Force did not properly manage the program." It cited the fact that Sambur's office paid Lockheed "almost the full price" for every deficient plane and approved a new multiyear contract in March 2003 despite the absence of a "stable design.""

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This is the info I found on the A400M. The A400M programme was launched in May 2003 with a single order for 180 aircraft for seven European NATO nations. South Africa joined the programme in April 2005 with an order for eight aircraft and Malaysia followed in December 2005 by ordering four aircraft, bringing the total order book to date to 192. The A400M will first fly in early 2008 with deliveries beginning in 2009. http://www.airbusmilitary.com/press.html Craig

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