The Airbus Military A400M military airlifter has dropped paratroopers for the first time in a successful demonstration of one of its key roles.
Six freefall paratroopers made jumps from aircraft Grizzly Three in separate passes from 6,000ft at the Fonsorbes drop zone near Toulouse on 4th November.
The paratroopers, two each from the UK armed forces, French armed forces, and the French Centre d'Essais en Vol reported that the aircraft was easier to jump from than other transports. Four of them jumped from the left-hand side door, and two from the ramp.
In an earlier flight water-filled balloons were first dropped from the aircraft and, following the paratroopers, specially instrumented mannequins were dropped using static lines. Further trials are planned for 2011.