Airbus the Grizzly

We have lift-off: The A400 Airbus finally gets into the sky, and the design specifications that make it so special Credit: AFP/Getty

Heading into the blue three years late, Airbus’s troubled A400M ‘flying truck’ military transport plane lifts off for its maiden flight.

The plane took off from Seville, in Spain, yesterday, with the flags of nine countries emblazoned on its side – the seven Nato nations plus Malaysia, which has ordered several planes, and South Africa, which recently pulled out of its order.

Britain has ordered up to 20 of the planes but the project has been dogged by delays and cost-overuns.

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