Today, i’m bringing you the cargo plane that is meant to face the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules, the aircraft i’m talking about is the Airbus A400M Atlas.
With it’s first flight done in December 2009, the Atlas is designed to be a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities, it was brought to the market as a replacement to older turboprop cargo aircraft such as the Transall C-160 and the C-130 Hercules. The A400M is set between the C-130 and the C-17 in terms of size and that is one of it’s best features as it can carry heavier loads than the Hercules while still being able to land in rough landing strips.
Cargo transport is not the only thing the Atlas can do, it also has a configuration for mid-air refueling and MEDEVAC, if proper equipment has been fitted onto the plane.
As a result of development delays, the project faced cancellation but the nations involved with it decided to maintain the support as a result, the A400M was brought into life and in 2013 the first production aircraft was delivered to the Armee de l’air (French Air Force).
Some of the most notable fact of the Atlas is the material of the wings that is carbon fibre reinforced plastic to make the plane lighter than other transport aircraft, it’s engines features counter-rotating propellers, this means that each pair of engines in the Atlas wings rotate in opposite directions, this configuration, known as “down between engines” (DBE), allows the aircraft to produce more lift and lessens the torque and prop wash on each wing. It also reduces yaw in the event of an outboard engine failure.
Well, that’s it for this photo series, as always, if you want to send me any suggestions or photos, don’t hold back, send them to me and i’ll be more than happy to upload them!
“ To discover the unknow is not a prerogative of Sinbad, of Eric the Red, or of Copernicus. Each and every man is a discoverer. He begins by discovering bitterness, saltiness, concavity, smoothness, harshness, the seven colours of the rainbow and the twenty-some letters of the alphabet; he goes on to visages, maps, animals and stars. He ends with doubt, or with faith, and the almost certainty of his own ignorance.”
Jorge Luis Borges, From the prologue of Atlas
Photo: Bruce Davidson, Clown and Circus Tent, 1958