The A400M military transport aircraft is expected to be the major attraction at the second edition of Mexico’s international aerospace show FAMEX (Feria Aerospacial Mexico) which today opens its doors for four days at the Military Air Base nº1 at Santa Lucía, near the town of Zumpango, a few kilometres NNW of Mexico City.
The aircraft, T.23-01 31-21, belongs to Wing 31 of the Spanish Air Force and is the first A400M delivered to Spain. The crew flew it on 24 April from the Zaragoza Air Base in northern Spain to Joint Base Andrews near Washington D.C. and from there they flew it down to Santa Lucía.
This is not the first time the A400M has been to Mexico – Airbus flew it there in May 2014 on a marketing tour — but for the Mexican public this is their first chance to see the A400M.
The aircraft recently had troublesome parts of its Propeller Gear Boxes on engines 1 and 3 (those that rotate clockwise) changed by a joint team of Airbus Defence & Space and Spanish Air Force technicians in situ at the Zaragoza Air Base. Once the software had been updated to account for the changes, a number of test flights were flown last week to Valencia and San Javier in Spain to ensure that the aircraft was fit for a trans-Atlantic flight.
Expected by 2020 to be the worlds 10th largest aeronautical manufacturer with 420 companies, currently the sixth largest supplier to the U.S. aerospace industry and with the world’s fourth largest fleet of private jets, Mexico wanted to promote its aerospace know-how, launching the first edition of FAMEX in 2015. The event drew over 200,000 members of the public and 32,000 professionals, a figure the organisers – the National Defence Secretariat, the Air Force, the Federal Government, the private sector and the Mexican Space Agency – hope to beat this time. FAMEX 2017 has drawn over 400 companies while in 2015 there were just 240.