A400M Natural Surface Operations
Pembrey Sands
September 17, 2020
Natural Surface Operations (NSO) Test and Evaluation Complete
Since 2018, 206 Squadron, the RAF’s Heavy Aircraft Test and Evaluation Squadron, has undertaken extensive NSO capability trials for the A400M Atlas C.1. 206 Squadron is responsible for training the RAF’s strategic Air Mobility Fleet. Now that the NSO capability trials have been completed for the A400M Atlas the transport aircraft has officially been handed over to the Air Mobility’s Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), XXIV Squadron. Wing Commander Neil Philp, Officer Commanding Number 206 Squadron said; "This milestone demonstrates the fantastic tactical airlift capability of the A400M and has the potential to make an immediate impact to operations. The handover of the capability to XXIV Squadron is the culmination of several years of test and evaluation and has been a true team effort to deliver.”

Three afternoons had been reserved for the final beach landing trials at Pembrey. For technical reasons day one training was cancelled. Day two at 13:30 A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) made its first approach for a touch and go from the west. Four touch and goes were followed by a landing and back track for a take-off. This sequence of touch and goes and landings continued until 15:30 when the A400M departed. As the day two trials were so successful day three was not required.

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A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) with 206 Squadron rolling out after landing on Pembrey Sands.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) the first approach and touch and go at 13:30, just c
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) the first landing at 13:45.
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A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) rolling out with reverse pitch of the propellors for the first landing and passed the ground support vehicles.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) turn around and back track.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) turn around and back track.
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A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) lifting off passed the Pemrey Range control tower.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) lifting off.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) touch and go. Members of Tactical Air Traffic Control facilitates the landing of the A400M Atlas onto the Tactical Landing Zone.
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Lifting off.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) lifting off.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) lifting off.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) landing.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) landing and rolling out.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) back tracking after landing.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) back tracking.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416).
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416).
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) back track.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) turn around and back track.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) turn around and back track.
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A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) passing the support vehicles.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) back tracking.
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A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) back tracking for the final time.
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Left to right: A400M Atlas C.1 (ZM416) back tracking for the final time.