Safran Landing Systems ensure the landing system design, manufacture and support for the A400M.
First military transport aircraft of the 21st century, the A400M is a modern, multi-role military airlifter, designed to handle more than twice the payload and volume of the aircraft it will replace. The A400M is capable of performing both strategic and tactical missions, as well as tanking o
Selected in 2004, Safran Landing Systems is responsible for managing the design, development, manufacturing, integration, qualification and support of the A400M landing gear system. The landing gear system encompasses the dressed nose and main landing gears fitted with wheels and carbon brakes, the extension and retraction system, kneeling system as well as the steering system.
In terms of landing gear design, to meet the requirement of soft-field landing capability for unprepared runways, each of the main landing gears consists of three independent twin-wheel assemblies housed in the aircraft's aerodynamic fuselage sponsons. This twelve-wheel configuration contains the "high flotation" characteristics necessary for landings on unprepared terrain. To meet this requirement, the main landing gear shock absorbers have been designed to ensure a minimum distance between the ground and aircraft structure whatever the loading conditions, thus preserving the integrity of the aircraft structure. Development activities are led by Safran Landing Systems' engineering team in Vélizy (France) which is responsible for the main landing gears and systems integration.
In terms of new materials, various major structural parts of the A400M landing gear are in titanium, including the trailing arm. Safran Landing Systems' manufacturing facility in Bidos (France) is in charge of producing the main and nose landing gears. The landing gear system testing activity is taking place at Safran Landing Systems test centers in Vélizy, together with the CEAT facilities in Toulouse. Regarding the systems integration, for the first time Airbus Defence and Space has delegated responsibility for the landing systems test bench activities directly to the supplier. The systems integration test bench activities are thus managed in a new facility in Vélizy inaugurated in 2007.
Safran Landing Systems delivered the first A400M landing gear to Airbus Defence and Space's final assembly line in September 2007. The program marked key milestones on 26 July 2008 with the rollout of the first aircraft from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain, and on 11 December 2009 with the first flight.