Airbus Defence and Space has successfully completed certification testing of the A400M new generation airlifter on a grass runway. The tests using the development aircraft MSN2 took place over a three week period at the airfield of Écury-sur-Coole in France in September and examined the aircraft’s behaviour on grass and natural soil runways. The A400M demonstrated excellent performance both in taxying manoeuvres, such as U-turns, and during take-off and landing on the 1,500m strip. These tests followed earlier successful results on the gravel surface at Ablitas in Spain and will be followed by tests on sand surfaces next year. The photo shows MSN2 landing on the grass runway.