Airbus' First Beluga XL Transporter Rolls Out
January 10, 2018 14:41 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 (Bernama) -- The first structurally complete airframe for the new Airbus Beluga XL rolled out from its assembly hangar in Toulouse, France this month.
In a statement, Airbus said once operational, a fleet of these next-generation airlifters would be used to transport completed sections of Airbus aircraft to the company's European production sites and to its final assembly lines in France, Germany and Spain.
Head of the Beluga XL programme, Bertrand George said the Beluga XL, expected to be flying by mid-2018, is one of the most voluminous aircraft in existence, with a bulging upper forward fuselage and enormous cargo area.
"While the first structurally complete Beluga XL moves into its testing phase, the second A330 airframe to be converted into a Beluga XL has arrived on schedule in Toulouse to begin its integration process.
"With lessons learned from the production of the first transporter, the assembly time for the second is expected to be about two months shorter," he added.