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Paris Air Show: Double blow for Airbus

Paris Air Show: Double blow for Airbus

European aviation giant Airbus has seen two of its flagship aircraft forced to withdraw from the Paris Air Show following a series of unfortunate events.

Firstly the new A400M military transport was forced to pull out following technical fault, with the A380 following earlier.

The A400M plane – nicknamed the Grizzly – was ruled out of the show with a technical fault after validating with a flypast on Friday.

The decision follows a gear problem on another aircraft in the test programme.

However, Domingo Urena, chief executive of Airbus Military, told waiting reporters the issue with the gearbox of the Europrop International TP400-D6 was not serious.

“We have problems with the gearbox, but the test aircraft keep flying,” explained Urena.

“We have very demanding flight-test requirements at the moment.”

The A400M made its maiden air show flying display at the ILA air show in Berlin a year ago and then performed at Farnborough in July.

Airbus A380

Earlier this morning, Airbus suffered a second misfortune, when the wing of a display A380 “touched” a structure the near the taxiway at Le Bourget Airport.

As a result the aircraft – which was scheduled to take part in the opening display this morning - will not now take part.

“During ground manoeuvres with the Airbus A380 flight test aircraft MSN 004, the aircraft’s right hand wing-tip touched a structure ,” Airbus said in a statement.

“Airbus experts are currently inspecting the aircraft, but it is already confirmed that the A380 MSN 004 will not perform the flying display at the Le Bourget Air Show 2011,” it said.