Airbus A-400M “Grizzly” crosswind testing at Keflavik International Airport

On Feb. 19, an Airbus A-400M “Grizzly” testplane made a quick visit to Keflavik International Airport to perform multiple crosswing landings. The Aviationist reporter Eggert Norðdahl was there to take the following pictures of the testing activity.

The Airbus A-400M registration F-WWMZ (c/n. 006), arrived just after daylight (in the morning) and performed multiple crosswind landings followed by taxi back and take-off from RWY 20. During the activities the tactical airlifter was observed performing approaches of approx. 30 degrees of crab, for incredibly short-landing rolls.

Noteworthy, Keflavik had winds from 080 degrees, at 30 knots, with gusting up to 47 knots.


Image credit: screenshot from

This “crosswind storm” knocked down a brand new GSM Tele-Communication mast at the Keflavík Ásbrú district (at the old US Naval Station Keflavík Military area) – and Swedish JAS-39 Gripen and Finnish F/A-18 fighter jets (involved in IAM-2014) temporarily based at the airport were forced to cancel their sorties.


Only a few Norwegian “Shark” aircraft (F-16s) (as wel as a Dutch KDC-10 tanker) took off to perform their “Iceland Air Policing” mission.

The Airbus Grizzly also performed four landings on RWY 11 (into the wind) then pulled in for fuel-stop (and Customs checks) and perhaps a little rest. Later on the same day it took off again and finally daparted back for Europe.

It was last noted at FL310 heading for Toulouse at 18:36 hrs.

Previous aircraft types doing crosswind tests at Keflavik during the last decades were the B-777, A-380, B-787 (twice), B-747i and Sukhoi 100-95 (the latter left Iceland on Dec. 28, 2013, after performing a gear up landing on Jul. 21, 2013).


Image credit: Eggert Norðdahl


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.