Air Transportation: June 27, 2002

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Determined to keep jobs in Europe, AirBus Industries has been trying to get European nations to buy the new A400M turboprop military transport instead of the tried and true (and constantly updated) U.S. C-130. The 130 ton A400M has a wingspan of 139 feet and a maximum payload of 37 tons. With a 30 ton payload, it can fly 4,400 kilometers. Each aircraft will cost $80 million. The 79 ton C-130J has a wingspan of 132 feet and a maximum payload of 20 tons. It's range is about 20 percent less than the A400M and costs $50 million. The C-130 is a 1950s that has been steadily improved over the decades and is used by 20 nations. The first C-130J was delivered in 1999 (and a stretched version is in the works). AirBus is trying to get 50 orders so it can proceed with production. Many European C-130 users would prefer to get the C-130J, but the "built in Europe" label carries a lot of weight. Because of this, only about 100 C-130Js have been ordered so far. 

 


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