Posted: Thu 14th Feb 2019

Updated: Thu 14th Feb

New Beluga XL lands in North Wales for first time

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Feb 14th, 2019

The much-anticipated UK debut of Airbus’ BelugaXL super-transporter aircraft is taking place today with a fly past and landing at Hawarden Airport, and due to the flightpath and scale of the plane it is likely to be visible to many in north east Wales.

We will be keeping this page updated with information so check back throughout the afternoon!

4:36pm That wraps up our live coverage this afternoon. Thanks to everyone for watching our livestreams and for sending us pictures this afternoon.

When you look to the skies now the bigger and better BelugaXL will be one of those you can see!

4:28pm Quick chat with Tony Flynn who has been speaking about what the BelugaXL is like to fly.

4:15pm Pilots and crew emerge as the plane opens up, and there is a legal drone flying there too!

4:09pm Can you spot the real BelugaXL? 😎

3:55pm The BelugaXL has landed..

3:43pm And it’s here! You can view our video of the BelugaXL landing below. Hoping to get some more videos and a bit closer in a bit!


3:22pm We’ve just started out livestream of the flypast.

3:10pm  Our sister site at has been sent this picture from Paul White of crowds in Broughton. Loads of interest here today with crowds around the airport and carparks are packed.

3:06pm For those keeping their eyes to the skies to catch a glimpse of the BelugaXL this afternoon, currently expected to be at Hawarden for a low loop ahead of landing at about 3:31pm.

2:55pm And it’s off! One of the old Belugas that is. BelugaXL set to arrive shortly.

2:42pm The plane is heading to a fly past by Bristol. We have just hopped off the Airbus-bus and now perched on a media platform. An older Beluga is about to take off shortly!

2:14pm Not long to go! The plane has just gone over the french coast heading north. There’s a fair amount of media interest here today.

13.50pm: Arrived at the media briefing area ahead of an ‘induction. ‘

1:30pm: The BelugaXL is scheduled to land at Hawarden Airport at 3.30pm however Airbus says “the date/time is subject to change due to weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances.” The plane will no longer be flying over the Rolls Royce factory in Derby, so the Airbus Filton flypast is now scheduled for slightly later (2.45pm) so times have changed in the last 24 hours.

The XL (extra-large) version of the Beluga plane – so-called for its uncanny resemblance to the adorable marine mammal – even sports a smiling whale’s face livery, voted for by Airbus’ Commercial Aircraft employees. The transport plane is a familiar sight in the skies due to the regular trips, so the new larger version will be something lots of us will see for several years to come.

If you are heading to view the aircraft in person, note the advice from South Flintshire Police who have said: “Due to considerable expected interest in the BELUGA XL AIRCRAFT arrival at AIRBUS this afternoon, can members of the public please be mindful of road safety and please be considerate when parking.

“Officers will be in attendance to ensure this is adhered to, and we would rather not have to take enforcement action on what should be a memorable occasion for aircraft enthusiasts.”

The aircraft is due to leave from Hawarden on Saturday around lunchtime though time is again subject to change.

We will be keeping this page updated with information so check back throughout the afternoon!

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