Airbus: Masterminds behind the Beluga aircraft to hold special fireside chat at Chester Storyhouse
Airbus is offering a unique opportunity for aviation enthusiasts and the general public to discover the fascinating story of the Beluga, an iconic aircraft that has graced the skies above Flintshire for nearly three decades.
A special fireside chat, to be held on 6th September at Chester’s Storyhouse, will provide an inside look into the design, operations, and incredible journey of the world’s largest cargo aircraft.
Paul Kilmister, Airbus Vice President Supply Chain Operations UK, expressed enthusiasm about sharing the Beluga’s rich history. “Broughton is the home of Airbus wings, and the Beluga is a key part of our operation in flying those wings to our final assembly lines. So we thought, what better place to host the story of the Beluga?” he said.
The Beluga’s Journey The Airbus A300-600ST (Super Transporter), popularly known as the Beluga, was designed to carry oversized cargo like aircraft parts. Its official name, “Super Transporter,” was soon overshadowed by its resemblance to the Beluga whale, and the nickname stuck.
Before the Beluga, Airbus relied on an aging fleet of “Super Guppies” to move large components. The need for a more efficient solution led to the creation of the Beluga, based on the standard A300-600. The first Beluga took flight in 1994 and quickly set a new standard in the industry.
The Design and Evolution The Beluga’s design is distinctive, with its enormous horseshoe-shaped structure and relocated cockpit. Powered by two General Electric turbofan engines, it can carry a payload of 47 tonnes.
The aircraft has played various roles, from transporting industrial equipment to delivering humanitarian aid. In the 2010s, Airbus developed a successor, the BelugaXL, which entered service in 2020. However, the original fleet continues to fly.
Fireside Chat Event The event at Chester’s Storyhouse promises to give attendees a glimpse into the Beluga’s operations, its contribution to the aviation world, and what it’s like to fly this unique aircraft.
Jean-Pierre Cousserans, Head of Beluga Operations, and Philippe Sabo, Head of Transport Operations, will share their insights as the masterminds behind the Beluga.
With a legacy of setting world records and being a part of historical moments, the Beluga stands as a symbol of innovation and versatility in the world of aviation.
Those interested in attending this rare event are invited to join Airbus at Storyhouse, Hunter St, Chester, CH1 2AR, from 6 pm to 7:15 pm, to explore the intriguing story of a plane that’s not just a “funny-looking” aircraft, but a workhorse with a bright future.
Tickets are priced at £15 with proceedings being donated to the Trussell Trust, they can be purchased on the Storyhouse website.
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