The Airbus Military A400M Grizzly tactical transport aircraft has completed a challenging series of tests to determine the lowest speed at which it can take-off – known as minimum unstick speed.

During the tests, performed at Istres in France, the aircraft’s nose was raised until a special ‘bumper’ fitted to the rear fuselage struck the ground at the maximum pitch-up angle of 13º. In the close-up photo sparks can be seen flying from the bumper as it drags on the runway.

(Airbus Military).

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