TOULOUSE- European plane maker Airbus has revealed the new and final Beluga XL fresh out of the paint shop. Further, it is the sixth aircraft added to its whalish fleet of Belugas.
The aircraft rollout of the factory is the final one, making the end of the Beluga XL final assembly line. Subsequently, the leading aerospace company took to Twitter to celebrate this significant achievement.
Airbus New Beluga XL
Boeing’s biggest rival has shared stunning images of its final aircraft. Subsequently, it wrote, “Something BIG has just sneaked out of our paint shop. Check out our latest (and last) #BelugaXL as she gets ready to support outsized cargo operations!”
The first Beluga XL entered into service on Jan 13, 2020, and marked a historical event in the aviation industry.
The aircraft, an essential component of Airbus’ industrial system, successfully completed its inaugural operational flight on January 9th. This marks the commencement of the first of six BelugaXL aircraft. It operates in conjunction with the existing BelugaST models.
The remaining aircraft is gradually incorporated into service from 2020 to 2023, wrote Airbus in a 2020 press release.
Having been introduced in November 2014, slightly over five years ago, reaching the milestone of entering into service signifies another remarkable accomplishment for the internal aircraft program.
In November 2019, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) granted Type Certification to the BelugaXL after an extensive flight test campaign. During which it successfully completed over 200 flight tests and accumulated more than 700 flight hours.
About Whale-Like Aircraft
With dimensions of 63 meters in length and 8 meters in width, the BelugaXL boasts the largest cargo bay cross-section among all existing cargo aircraft worldwide.
Compared to the BelugaST, which can only accommodate one A350 XWB wing, the BelugaXL can transport two wings.
Equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, the BelugaXL is built upon the foundation of an A330-200 Freighter. Further allowing for the utilization of existing components and equipment.
Collaboratively developed with partners, the aircraft’s unique appearance is attributed to its lowered cockpit, cargo bay structure, rear end, and tail.
As the newest addition to Airbus’ transportation portfolio, the BelugaXL expands the company’s capabilities.
While air transport remains the primary method for conveying large aircraft components, Airbus also employs road, rail, and sea transport to facilitate the movement of parts between its production sites.
Operating from 11 European destinations, akin to the BelugaST, the BelugaXL strengthens industrial capacities, enabling Airbus to fulfill its commitments efficiently.
The aircraft’s impressive specifications include a maximum payload of 51 tonnes and a range of 4,000 km (2,200 nm).
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