Posted: Fri 6th Jan 2017

Airbus starts to assemble new Beluga XL ready for the first flight in 2018

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jan 6th, 2017

Airbus’ has started to assemble the basic core airframe for its next-generation oversize cargo airlifter the Beluga XL

An 18-month integration process has started at the company’s production facilities in Toulouse, France.

The core airframe is based on the Airbus A330-200 freighter that already has been structurally reinforced, providing the platform on which the Beluga XL airframe will be built.

This element was assembled in December without a nose fuselage or tail assembly – both of which will be added during activity planned in 2017.

Integration of the Beluga XL core airframe will be performed inside the two-section L34 building at Airbus’ Lagardère industrial zone, which is adjacent to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport.

For the first 12 months of the assembly activity, the airframe will be completed and its mechanical and electrical systems will be fitted at an integration station.

For the remaining six months, the aircraft will move to a second station for ground testing and engine installation.

Five Beluga XL airlifters will be built, with the first to enter operational service in 2019.

They will gradually replace the existing fleet of Beluga ST aircraft, which were derived from the shorter-fuselage A300.

Beluga XL programme head Bertrand George said;

“The coming year of final integration will be a series of small steps, the number of holes to be drilled and fasteners to be installed is far bigger than on any other Airbus aircraft.

Sticking to schedule at each step is the key to being ready for first flight in 2018. I fully trust the capability of our teams to make it happen together.”

Once the first Beluga XL enters service, it will provide crucial support to Airbus’ production ramp-up from day one thanks to its ability to carry a full set of A350 XWB wings.

Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: [email protected]
Latest News

  • Police seek public assistance in identifying suspect in Saltney wallet theft
  • 200-million-year-old ‘three-eyed’ reptiles get new home at Chester Zoo
  • North Wales PCC Andy Dunbobbin prioritises tackling retail crime

  • More...

    Police seek public assistance in identifying suspect in Saltney wallet theft

    News

    200-million-year-old ‘three-eyed’ reptiles get new home at Chester Zoo

    News

    North Wales PCC Andy Dunbobbin prioritises tackling retail crime

    News

    Eluned Morgan set to become first minister after being appointed new leader of Welsh Labour

    News

    The Cottage Nursing Home in Mold set to reopen

    News

    Countess of Chester: Topping out ceremony marks significant milestone for new Women and Children’s Building   

    News

    Camping or caravanning this summer? Take carbon monoxide seriously – RoSPA and Wales & West Utilities

    News

    Holywell youth project praised North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner

    News

    Flintshire Council faces backlash over three-weekly bin collections

    News