|Quoting kanban (Reply 49):|
If I remember correctly the first "unprepared runway" landing went bad because it wasn't prepared correctly (seems it was too wet).. so the test was revised to minimally prepared runways..
That's just one of those numerous bogus arguments that have accompanied the introduction of the A400M. It is not that test pilots or manufacturers say: "Let's land the bird on that field down there and see what happens. If we do well, the plane gets its unprepped runway certificate."
Instead, there are different CBR runway indexes that measure e.g. strenght / durability and flexibility of unprepared runways. A CBR 3 runway is less durable than a CBR 8 runway. If you need a CBR 6 qualification but the airstrip you chose is too wet and therefore qualifies as a CBR 4 or 5 runway, then you actually have to prepare the runway so you can do the unprepared runway tests. You know what: That's normal!
The A400M can land and take off carrying 30 tons of payload or fuel to/from a CBR 6 runway at least 40 times before you need to improve the runway. To my knowledge there is no other airlifter that can do that.