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    Beluga

    Beluga

    For outsized cargo transport

    Featuring one of the most voluminous cargo holds of any civil or military aircraft flying today, the Airbus Beluga offers a unique way to transport oversized air cargo. Also known as A300-600ST Super Transporter, the company’s five existing Belugas play a key role in keeping its production and assembly network operating at full capacity, with the fleet’s overall pace of operations – managed by the Airbus Transport International (ATI) subsidiary – growing to support production ramp-ups.

    In 2020, Airbus began phasing in its fleet of six new-generation BelugaXL versions – which will operate in parallel with the five in-service A300-600STs before replacing them completely.

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    Beluga

    Key figures Beluga ST

    Key figures Beluga ST
    • Overall length 56.15 m 184 ft 3 in
    • Height 17.24 m 56 ft 7 in
    • Wing span 44.84 m 147 ft 2 in
    Dimensions
    Overall length 56.15 m
    Cabin length 37.7 m
    Fuselage width 7.31 m
    Max cabin width 5.28 m
    Wing span (geometric) 44.84 m
    Height
    17.24 m
    Track
    11.05 m
    Wheelbase 11.05 m
    Performance
    Max take-off weight
    155  tonnes
    Max landing weight
    144 tonnes
    Max zero fuel weight
    133.5 tonnes
    Max fuel capacity
    23 860 litres
    Dimensions
    Overall length 184 ft 3 in
    Cabin length 123 ft 8 in
    Fuselage width 24 ft 0 in
    Max cabin width 17 ft 4 in
    Wing span (geometric) 147 ft 2 in
    Height
    56 ft 7 in
    Track
    25 ft 0 in
    Wheelbase 36 ft 25 in
    Performance
    Max take-off weight
    341 (713) lb x 1000
    Max landing weight
    308.6 lb x 1000
    Max zero fuel weight
    294 5 (314) lb x 1000
    Max fuel capacity
    6 303 USG

    Aircraft weights and capabilities shown are the highest values.?Ranges shown are for typical passenger load.

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    Airlifter extraordinaire

    With more than 20 years of reliable service, the Beluga carries complete sections of Airbus aircraft from different production sites around Europe to the final assembly lines in Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany. The five-aircraft fleet of A300-600ST Belugas – operated by the Airbus Transport International (ATI) subsidiary – transports fuselage sections, wings and tails for Airbus’ single-aisle A320 and wide-body A330 families, along with parts for the A350 XWB.?

    ATI ensures a high level of customer satisfaction with loading, unloading, and delivery designed to be fast, safe, flexible, and reliable – as demonstrated by over two decades of successful operations throughout the world.

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    Expanding capabilities: BelugaXL

    To support the A350 XWB ramp-up and other production rate increases, Airbus is replacing its five-aircraft A300-600ST fleet with six BelugaXL aircraft, derived from the company’s versatile A330 wide-body product line.?

    In addition to the significant use of existing components and equipment, Airbus’ A330-based BelugaXLs incorporate newly-developed elements including its lowered cockpit, a highly-enlarged cargo bay structure, and modified rear and tail section.?

    Sized at seven metres longer and one metre wider than its BelugaST predecessor, the BelugaXL provides 30% extra transport capacity. As an example, the BelugaXL can carry two wings of an A350 XWB jetliner, while the BelugaST can only accommodate one. With a maximum payload of 51 tonnes, the BelugaXL has a range of 4,000 km (2,200 nm).

    The BelugaXL performed its maiden flight in 2018. Type Certification for the Airbus airlifter was issued in November 2019 by the?European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which paved the way for the first BelugaXL’s service entry two months later in January 2020.

    As with the BelugaST, the BelugaXL fleet will operate from 11 destinations in Europe, continuing to strengthen Airbus’ industrial capabilities and enabling the company to meet its production and delivery commitments.

    BelugaXL by the numbers

     

    The BelugaXL will gradually replace the existing five-member Beluga ST fleet – which is used for carrying complete sections of Airbus aircraft from different production sites around Europe to the final assembly lines in Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany. Learn more about Airbus’ next-generation oversize cargo aircraft with this special “animated infographic.” Read less Read more

    Speed and efficiency

    Beluga combines outsized cargo-carrying capability with the speed and efficiency of Airbus’s A300-600 airliner. It enables short transport times for production, and the large main cargo deck minimizes the need for payload breakdown, crating and packaging.

    The semi-automated main deck cargo loading system ensures easy and efficient handling of payloads, controlled by the trained crews of Airbus Transport International – which operates the five-aircraft Beluga fleet.

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    Flight deck

    The Beluga retains the same modern flight deck that is in worldwide operation on Airbus A300-600s and A310s.?

    It is operated by a three-member crew comprising two pilots and a loadmaster. The main instrument panel incorporates six cathode ray tube (CRT) displays that continuously provide flight, navigation and systems-monitoring information in a clear, comprehensive manner.?

    Also included in the cockpit are controls for a transportable heating module that can be installed in the main deck cargo compartment. The module provides temperature-controlled conditions for sensitive payloads carried by the Beluga, including satellites and paintings.

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     / 
    France 02 May 2017

    Airbus Beluga - Patrouille de France 4

    The Beluga transporter aircraft, which flew in formation with the French Air Force “Patrouille de France” aerobatic demonstration team on 30 May 2014, plays a vital role in ensuring the ramp-up of several Airbus programmes

    Read more
     / 
    France 02 June 2014

    Airbus Beluga - Patrouille de France 3

    The Airbus Beluga’s milestone formation flight with the French Air Force “Patrouille de France” aerobatic demonstration team took place in France one day before the Muret-based Airexpo air show

    Read more
     / 
    France 02 June 2014

    Airbus Beluga - Patrouille de France 1

    Airbus’ Beluga transporter aircraft performed a memorable formation flight with the French Air Force’s “Patrouille de France” aerobatic demonstration team on 30 May 2014

    Read more
     / 
    Germany 17 June 2014

    Airbus Beglua loading hangar

    Six new loading hangars dedicated to Airbus' Beluga cargo carriers – the first of which opened May 2014 in Hamburg, Germany – will help these freighters increase their flight hour totals to support the company's latest production rate increases

    Read more
     / 
    Fuselage 15 September 2014

    Airbus Beluga – Fuselage close-up 3

    In service since 1996, the Beluga combines outsized cargo-carrying capability with the jet speed and efficiency of Airbus’ A300-600 airliner

    Read more
     / 
    France 15 September 2014

    Airbus Beluga

    The five-aircraft Beluga fleet services a network comprised of 11 stations located in France, Germany, Spain, the UK and Turkey

    Read more
     / 
    Front 15 September 2014

    Airbus Beluga – No. 1 aircraft on ground

    AM SPS BELUGA MSN14.23-07-2013. FOTO JAVIER DIAZ

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    France 12 September 2014

    Airbus’ fleet of Beluga aircraft

    Airbus operates a fleet of five Beluga cargo airlifters, which together perform more than sixty flights each week to transport components for the company’s jetliners between 11 sites in Europe

    Read more

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    Beluga media gallery

    09072020 BelugaXL Carga 6 HTP 67    
    BelugaXL Entry to service in Getafe    
    BelugaXL Entry to service in Getafe    
    First BelugaXL delivered to ATI – Front view    
    First BelugaXL delivered to ATI – Side view    
    First BelugaXL delivered to ATI – Rear view    
    First BelugaXL delivered to ATI – On ground    
    First BelugaXL delivered to ATI – Taxiing    
    BelugaXL in flight    
    BelugaXL Type Certification - group photo    
    Airbus Commercial Aircraft formation flight – Airbus 50-year anniversary    
    Airbus 50th anniversary - Formation Flight - BelugaXL landing    
    Airbus 50th Years Anniversary - Formation Flight - Patrouille De France Ambiance    
    Airbus 50th anniversary - Formation flight – BelugaXL lands    
    Airbus 50th Years Anniversary - Formation Flight Air To Air With Patrouille De France    
    Airbus 50th anniversary - Patrouille De France joins formation flight    
    Airbus 50th anniversary - Formation flight with Patrouille De France    
    Airbus 50th anniversary - Formation flight with Patrouille De France aerobatic team    
    Airbus 50th anniversary - Formation Flight - BelugaXL taking off    
    Airbus 50th anniversary – Patrouille De France aerobatic team joins formation flight    
    BelugaXL in operational service      
    Airbus Commercial Aircraft formation flight – 50-year anniversary      
    Airbus Commercial Aircraft formation flight – 50-year celebration      
    BelugaXL makes first flight loaded with two aircraft wings      
    Highlights of the BelugaXL first flight      
    Highlights of the BelugaXL first flight      
    In the making: Airbus’ first BelugaXL      
    BelugaXL by the numbers      
    BelugaXL first flight teaser final checks      
    Coming soon… BelugaXL      
    Airbus’ first BelugaXL is “all smiles”      
    BelugaXL ground vibration test      
    First BelugaXL has its cargo door installed      
    BelugaXL - FAL starts      
    In the making Air Astana’s A320neo      
    The year in review: Airbus' 2015 highlights adjusted      
    In the making: Vietnam Airlines’ first A350 XWB      
    Airbus’ Beluga celebrates 20 years in the air      
    Airbus’ Beluga: 20 years of reliable service      
    Airbus’ 2014 highlights      
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