19 июля 2018г. в Тулузе состоялся первый полет транспортного самолета Airbus A330-743L Beluga XL, предназначенного для доставки на сборку крупногабаритных секций авиатехники «Эрбас». Самолет призван дополнить, а со временем и заменить устаревшие A300-600ST Beluga. В отличие от предшественника, он имеет улучшенные летно-технические характеристики и увеличенные габариты грузовой кабины, что позволяет перевозить одновременно два крыла от A350 вместо одного.
One of the initial air-to-air studies of the first A330-743L BelugaXL during its July 19, 2018 maiden flight from Toulouse.
Six BelugaXLs will be introduced to service over the next few years.
One difference in the BelugaXL's structure from its predecessor is a 50% larger dorsal fin with a kink in the diagonal line.
A new structural addition are ventral fins on the aft fuselage to help provide stability.
The BelugaXL's horizontal tailplane box is wider and the auxiliary vertical end-fins taller than on the BelugaST.
Airbus airliners in formation with the Patrouille de France off the southwestern French coast in late May 2019.
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The second BelugaXL at Toulouse following roll-out. One of the current-generation BelugaST aircraft the BelugaXL will replace can be seen in the background.
The BelugaXL is 6.9m (22ft 6in) longer and 1.7m (5ft 5in) wider than the first-generation aircraft.
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THE INITIAL BelugaXL, F-WBXL (msn 1824) went to Airbus' Bremen plant in November 2018 as part of the certification and validation work for the new airlifter.
Deharde in partnership with P3 Voith Aerospace designed and built the cargo hold and Stelia Aerospace the nose fuselage and main cargo door.
The initial Beluga XL at Toulouse following roll-out. With 6,000kg (13,227 lb) more payload capability than the current Beluga, this aircraft will be able to transport both wings of an A350 at once, instead of the single wing accommodated on the current aircraft.
Elements of the Beluga XL core airframe are taken to Airbus’s L34 hangar at Toulouse for the start of integration for the first aircraft.
The nose section for the first Airbus Beluga XL has arrived in Toulouse following assembly.
The first of the five new Beluga XL transporters, derived from the A330-200F, on the Toulouse FAL.
The nose of the first Airbus Beluga XL F-WBXL was lifted off the ground by around lift (3.5m) during the Ground Vibration Test to determine the aircraft's empty-weight centre of gravity.
The Beluga XL, based on the A330, is the next generation of Airbus' in-house transporter.
Artist's impression of the Beluga XL, which will be based on the A330-200 Freighter.