A Royal Air Force Airbus A400M Atlas suffered a bird strike during a flight out of Getafe Air Base, Spain. The aircraft suffered substantial damage on the fuselage under the cockpit.
Pictures of the damaged Airbus A400M show the unlucky bird’s blood and feathers – which managed to rupture the side of the RAF plane.
The animal struck the side of the aircraft mid-flight, causing a giant hole in the military plane just under the cockpit.
Feathers from the bird could be seen both inside and outside of the flight-deck – with blood splatters seen near internal cables.
No one – apart from the poor bird – was injured in the splat, and the aircraft landed safely.
This is the second bird strike incident involving an Airbus A400M airlifter that caused substantial damage to the aircraft.
On May 7, an A400M operated by the Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire) was damaged following in a bird strike incident while the aircraft was on approach to Zaragoza Air Base around 262 km northeast of Spain’s capital Madrid. There were no injuries in the incident and the aircraft suffered damage to its under-fuselage near one of the aft wheel well.
Entering operational service with the Royal Air Force in 2014, A400 Atlas (Atlas C.1 A400M) provides tactical airlift and strategic oversize lift capabilities complementing those of the C-130J Super Hercules and C-17 Globemaster III fleets.
Airbus A400M Atlas
Airbus A400M Atlas is a multi-national, four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed by Airbus Military (now Airbus Defence and Space) as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities to replace older transport aircraft, such as the Transall C-160 and the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.
The A400M is positioned, in terms of size and payload capacity, between the C-130 tactical airlifter and the C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifter. Along with the transport role, the A400M can perform aerial refuelling and medical evacuation when fitted with appropriate equipment.
The A400M operates in many configurations including cargo transport, troop transport, and medical evacuation. The aircraft is intended for use on short, soft landing strips and for long-range, cargo transport flights. The aircraft is powered by four Europrop TP400-D6 engines rated at 8,250 kW (11,000 hp) each.
The A400M’s maiden flight took place on 11 December 2009 from Seville, Spain and the first aircraft was delivered to the French Air Force in August 2013.