Airbus has released a few more details on its new A330 based Beluga transporter called the BelugaXL.
The giant transporter will be 20ft longer than the existing A300 Beluga which has become such an iconic sight in the skies above Deeside.
Airbus said it has selected major aerostructure suppliers for the Beluga XL, the first of which will come into service in 2019 supporting Airbus’ industrial air transport capability.
The selected suppliers will provide their know-how to Airbus for developing major parts of the unique Beluga XL:
· Stelia Aerospace, has been selected to design and build the Nose Fuselage & Main Cargo Door which gives the Beluga XL its signature shape.
· Aernnova has been selected to design and build the Rear Fuselage & Dorsal Fin.
· Deharde in partnership with P3 Voith Aerospace has been selected to design and build the Typical Fuselage of the cargo bay.
· Aciturri has been selected to design and build the Horizontal Tail Plane (HTP) box extension & Auxiliary Fins.
The new Beluga was launched in November 2014 and named Beluga XL for its increased dimensions on the current Belugas in operation.
The additional one metre in width and six metres in length will allow the Beluga XL to carry two A350 XWB wings at a time, twice that of the current Beluga.
The Beluga XL was launched to address the transport capacity requirement for the A350 XWB ramp-up and other aircraft production rate increases. Compared to the current Beluga, the Beluga XL will provide Airbus with an additional 30% air transport capacity.
The new oversize air transporters are based on the A330, with a large re-use of existing components and equipment. The design concept is similar to the current Beluga, with the distinctive lowered cockpit, cargo bay structure, rear-end and tail being amongst the items which are newly developed.