What a bird strike can do to Airbus A400M Military plane

A Spanish Air Force Airbus A400M received a minor fuselage damage following a bird strike inflight. The aircraft was operating from the Zara...



A Spanish Air Force Airbus A400M received a minor fuselage damage following a bird strike inflight.

The aircraft was operating from the Zaragoza Air Base, while the bird struck, puncturing a hole in the landing gear sponson, just below the RAM air turbine door.

Being designed to operate from unpaved runways, the structure was designed to withstand object strikes.

The sponson is a 14-metre (45 ft) fairings on side of the fuselage housing the main landing gear of six sturdy landing gear wheels. 


Designed and produced by EADS Socata, they are of mixed construction, a metal frame covered with composite (hybrid glass/carbon & carbon) panels on the fore and aft parts, to both limit the weight of the structure and make it able to withstand the impact of projectiles thrown up from unmetalled runways. 

In order to comply with new safety regulations in the event of a burst tyre, the central section was redesigned with metal panels by EADS Socata. Each sponson weighs around 900 kg (1,986 lbs).