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#5154 Royal Air Force - Airbus A400M Atlas C1 (ZM411)

20180714-001 Royal Air Force - Airbus A400M Atlas C1 (ZM411) RAF Fairford UK.jpg Thumbnails#5158 Royal Air Force - British Aerospace BAe 146 CC2 (ZE700)

Airbus A400M Atlas C1 (ZM411) from the Royal Air Force at the RIAT 2018, RAF Fairford (United Kingdom)

The Airbus A400M Atlas is a European, four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It was 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, between the C-130 and the C-17; it can carry heavier loads than the C-130 and is able to use rough landing strips. Along with the transport role, the A400M can perform aerial refuelling and medical evacuation when fitted with appropriate equipment. The Airbus A400M Atlas replaced the RAF's fleet of Lockheed Hercules C1/C3 (C-130K) transport aircraft which were withdrawn from service on 31 December 2012 and will also replace the C4/C5 variants. Originally, 25 aircraft were ordered, although the total is now 22. The Atlas aircraft are assigned to the RAF 70 Sqn and the 24 Sqn, that is Air Mobility Operational Conversion Unit (AMOCU). The 206 (Reserve) Sqn, acting as the Heavy Aircraft Test and Evaluation Unit, based at MoD Boscombe Down (UK Ministry of Defence, Air Warfare Centre) but with a flight detachment at RAF Brize Norton flies the A400M on loan from other squadrons when required to undertake specific testing activitie.

The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world's largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July,
usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.
The show typically attracts a total of 150.000 to 160.000 spectators over the weekend.
The 2018 Air Tattoo will reflect the 100th anniversary of the RAF with a commemoration
and celebration of a century of service to the United Kingdom and its allies.

Matthijs van Wageningen
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