RAF A400M VISITS NEW ZEALAND the royal air force A400M Atlas - Down under

The year 2017 marks the Royal New Zealand Air Force's 80th anniversary and the Royal Air Force is proud to have been invited to take part in the celebrations, which took place in February, at the Ohakea Air Tattoo

The Royal Air Force A400M Atlas, crewed by Number LXX Squadron, and based at RAF Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand, after the 13,000 mile trip

The A400M Atlas is the Royal Air Force's newest, cutting-edge, Air-Mobility platform. Able to deploy globally, it can transport a load of 25 tonnes over a range of 2,000 nautical miles.

Reflecting on a beautiful aircraft...
...it's vast cargo bay...
...and state-of-the-art 'Glass' flight deck

Royal New Zealand Air Force Flight Sergeant Sean Smith enjoyed the view as we made our way to the 2017 Air Tattoo, at RNZAF Base Ohakea, to join in the celebrations for the RNZAF's 80th Anniversary

The Number LXX Squadron crew hosted members of New Zealand's media...

...who conducted interviews and made news reports...
...using the A400M as a backdrop

Public interest in the RAF A400M Atlas was amazing, and the crew enjoyed answering their questions, and discussing the versitility and performance of the aircraft

The RAF A400M was an imposing presence at the Ohakea airshow
Almost 10,000 people visited the aircraft
Many were happy to receive items of memorabilia to remind them of their first visit to the A400M

During the 2017 Air Tattoo, this highly-capable aircraft, which provides a wealth of options in both operational and humanitarian environments, played host to a meeting between the Chief of the Royal New Zealand Air Force and the Chief of the Air Staff. Later, gifts were exchanged...

Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies, Chief of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, said...

"I did get to see the aircraft and have a good introduction with it last July, when I was kindly hosted by 70 Squadron. I got to fly the simulator and go flying in the aircraft, which was really impressive. Great range and payload. I am really envious that you’ve got them. This one has a lot of capability and a lot of credibility.”
"We have a huge shared history together, our roots are from the RAF. It is very meaningful that in our 80th year the RAF is first and foremost the prime guests at our own party. To take the time and effort to come out here, especially for your Chief of the Air Staff, is really meaningful."

Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief of the Air Staff, said...

"As Chief of the Air Staff I am delighted the Royal Air Force has been able to come to New Zealand to help celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. We have a long and rich history together going back over decades, going back over operations, and everything we do today."
"It’s a fantastic new capability for the Royal Air Force, showing our ability to deploy all the way from the UK to the other side of the world really underlines the Air Forces Global Mobility capability in support of operations, wherever they might be. We get here quickly and effectively in this fantastic new aircraft."


Crown Copyright 2017 Photos: Senior Aircraftman Rob Bourne No. 7644 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force

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