Thirty Years in Latin America
With a significant presence in military and civil aircraft, helicopters and space, Airbus Defence and Space is the largest single exhibitor at FIDAE 2018, Santiago Rivas reports from Chile for MONCh.
At a press conference held on the second day of Latin America’s premier defence and aerospace exhibition on 4 April, the company used its thirty year history in the region for Bernhard Brenner, Executive Vice President and Head of Sales and Marketing, to highlight the three main products the company is offering in the transport aircraft domain as well as the Eurofighter TYPHOON.
The A400M is one of the stars at FIDAE and is the main tactical transport developed by the company, with a payload capacity of 37t – the largest in its class – and an ability to operate from all kind of runways. “Two thirds of the runways in the world are unprepared,” explained Brenner, emphasising the importance of the aircraft’s flexibility. The aircraft has reached 30,000 flight hours to date, with 61 operational and 174 contracted in total.
The C295 is the company’s best-known product in Latin America, with 41 flying in the continent, including several PERSUADERs for maritime patrol and search and rescue missions.
The A330MRTT tanker is the other highlight of the company, for which it sees an attractive market in Latin America. As the refuelling system is wing-mounted, it is the only tanker in which both the cabin and the cargo capacity are available for use on passenger and cargo transport missions. The company is now working on an autonomous refuelling system, with cameras that create a 3D image of the plane approaching to identify the type. Once the receiver catches the probe, the system makes the fuel transfer automatically.
The press conference ended with a flight on the A400M to witness the aircraft’s capabilities in the air, with a cockpit based on that of the A380 but with the addition of Head Up Displays.