Crédits photos © Airbus Defence & Space

The first Airbus A400M new generation airlifter ordered by the German Air Force has made its maiden flight, marking a key milestone towards its delivery. The aircraft, known as MSN18, took off from Seville, Spain today at 14:30 local time (GMT+1) and landed back on site 4 hours and 58 minutes later.

Experimental Test Pilot Thomas Wilhelm, who captained the flight, said after landing: “It is a great privilege to have conducted the first flight of the German Air Force’s first A400M. I am absolutely confident that the combination of strategic range with true tactical capability that it brings will contribute enormously to the service’s air mobility capability for military and humanitarian missions.”

The aircraft is the first of 53 ordered by the German Air Force and will be known in-service as the A400M Atlas.