Prepare for sanding! Moment giant 120-ton RAF military Airbus sweeps in to land on Welsh beach in training mission
- The four engine aircraft can deliver 25 tonnes of cargo over 2,000 nautical miles
- A400M Atlas was conducting trails at Pembrey Sands beach in Southern Wales
- It was being flown by 06 Squadron and LXX Squadron pilots from Brize Norton
A series of spectacular beach landings have been completed by a 120-ton RAF carrier testing its capabilities on sand.
The A400M Atlas manned by pilots from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, took to Pembrey Sands beach in Southern Wales to perform take off, taxiing and landing manoeuvers.
Spectacular pictures shows the clunking Airbus-made beast zipping over the wet sand, touching down before quickly taking off again. It was being flown by 06 Squadron and LXX (70) Squadron pilots.
The A400M Atlas during beach landing trails at Pembrey Sands beach in Southern Wales
The 45 m long plane is vital in Ministry of Defence aid missions, with room for 66 patient stretchers.
The four-engine turboprop aircraft can also deliver 25 tonnes of cargo over 2,000 nautical miles at impressive speed.
The craft was being tested for its ability to land on unprepared runways, as it was also last year in South Wales.
The RAF said: ‘Beaches are routinely used by the RAF for training operations with other tactical airlifters.
The 45 m long plane is vital in Ministry of Defence aid missions, with room for 66 stretchers
‘The A400M showcased its superb tactical capabilities on natural surfaces by performing take-off, landing and taxiing manoeuvres.’
Footage from a similar capability test on a Welsh beach last year show the true scale of the impressive machine.
The UK will operate 22 aircraft in total, based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.
The RAF carrier was testing its capabilities on sand, including taxiing, take off and landing
DE&S (Defence Equipment and Support) teams are managing the ongoing delivery of the aircraft and overseeing trials to increase the range of operations it is qualified to perform.
James Dowson, DE&S Atlas Team Head, said: ‘UK Forces are known worldwide for their ability to be deployed rapidly and effectively – the Atlas aircraft, which our people are instrumental in delivering, will be central to this in the future.’