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I've recently saw this footage. Airbus A400M tactical capabilities on natural surfaces by performing take-off, landing and taxiing manoeuvres. I wonder if she could take-off fully loaded from that surface ?

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    $\begingroup$ I would think this highly depends on the type of sand on the beach... $\endgroup$ – Sanchises Oct 17 at 10:36
  • $\begingroup$ it would. How compacted is it, is it wet or dry, what is the grain size, is there clay in it, rocks, etc. etc. all play a part. If it's compacted, somewhat wet maybe, a beach can be a good surface. If it's deep fluffy sand, or muddy clay, everything gets stuck in it, and you're not going to pull an aircraft through it. $\endgroup$ – jwenting Oct 17 at 10:44
  • $\begingroup$ I think answer can focus on known sand runways such as Traigh Mhor. That way, sand characteristics are known. $\endgroup$ – Manu H Oct 17 at 15:09
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    $\begingroup$ Generally an aircraft can take off heavier than it can land, so it probably could. However, most recent tactical landings for A400M occur (at least for french ones) in sub-saharian regions or Afghanistan where "hot & high" conditions may alter the overall aicraft performance more than the terrain itself. For instance heavy takeoffs are generally operated in the early morning or even at night to have better lift and engine performance than in the afternoon $\endgroup$ – BambOo Oct 17 at 17:25
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The surface of the beach will need a certain California Bearing Ratio to be allowed to have the aircraft land there. This will be measured by the ground support prior to the arrival of the aircraft. This will allows the aircraft to operate largely normally when on the ground roll and taxiing, however the crew would need to be mindful about brownout when using reverse thrust and to be gentle when turning so as not to bury the nose wheel. The aircraft will have a maximum mass for operations at the given CBR. There will also be a max mass based on the aircraft performance versus the field conditions and parameters with margins for safety (though not the same as standard Engine-Out performance or Balanced Field) which is unlikely to be its normal maximum takeoff mass.

EDITED for scope.

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    $\begingroup$ Points 1 & 3 seem to be mainly focused on landing, while point 2 addresses the actual question about takeoff. You may want to edit to focus on the takeoff portion. $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Oct 19 at 15:47
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The A400M has multiple missions. Each has a maximum payload.

Strategic airlift is to prepared surfaces and has a maximum payload of 37 tons. enter image description here

Tactical airlift is directly to theater on rough or soft surfaces (CBR6) has a maximum payload of 25 tons, plus five tons of fuel for return. Return fuel is not needed for strategic airlift. It can do this 40 times before the surface is no longer usable. Typically, tactical is measured in how much can be delivered, not retrieved. enter image description here

Maximum takeoff weight is 141 tons, which can be done according to the following chart from a soft surface if you have enough runway. enter image description here

However, the soft surface penalty is seven tons for the above missions. You decide what 'fully loaded' means.

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That would depend on the density altitude, consistency of the sand, length of the beach available, and the technique used for the takeoff. In addition to that, you'd have to be pretty much continuously moving during loading so the aircraft wouldn't sink into the sand. All things considered, I don't think there would be an issue if all these factors aligned.

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