Airbus has gone ahead with a test flight of it's military aircraft A400M, several days after a crash left 4 crew members dead. It was a move to restore confidence in the project, but will it work? Katie Gregory reports.
Keen to restore confidence - Airbus's head of military aircraft boards this A400M. All eyes were on the test flight... after last weekend's fatal crash. It wasn't enough for Spain - the country's Defense Minister withdrawing flight permission for all A400Ms in production in the country - until more is revealed about the crash. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPANISH DEFENSE MINISTER, PE DRO MORENES, SAYING: "It doesn't make sense for planes currently in the production phase and going through tests, to be able to fly without knowing what really happened to the plane. This as an objective decision, it's not because we know something about what happened to the plane, it's simply because something has happened, and we need to take all our precautions." The production of these military troop and cargo carriers is being funded by seven European nations. It's been in the pipeline for years, but has been hit with delays, financial problems and technical issues. Many believed that now it's in the development stage, the majority of problems had been ironed out. That was until the crash last Saturday - which killed 4 crew members. However, that shouldn't hamper the rollout of 174 of the aircraft says Defence and Aerospace analyst Howard Wheeldon. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDEPENDENT DEFENCE AND AEROSPACE ANALYST, HOWARD WHEELDON, SAYING: "Now if they can export more of these aircraft, Malaysia is the single export customer at the moment. Then of course it will have a lot of further success in the years ahead. We haven't got to that stage yet, we better hope we do." As well as Spain - all A400Ms in the UK, Germany, Malaysia and Turkey remain grounded. With this test flight and a prompt investigation into the crash, Airbus is hoping they'll ALL take to the skies once again.