Prince of whales: BelugaXL in maiden flight

Airbus has celebrated the maiden flight of its first BelugaXL freighter, which took off this morning from Blagnac in Toulouse, France, for a test flight over south-western France.
A fleet of five BelugaXLs will be used to transport completed sections of Airbus aircraft among the company’s European production sites and to its final assembly lines in France, Germany and Spain. It will not be available for commercial charters.
The first BelugaXL will enter into service later in 2019, to gradually replace the current BelugaST transporters.
The aircraft sported a special livery making it look like a whale. The livery was one of six choices submitted to Airbus employees through a poll in which 20,000 people participated. With 40% votes in favour, the smiley livery won.
The crew in the cockpit on board this flight comprised: Captain Christophe Cail, Co-Pilot Bernardo Saez-Benito Hernandez and Test-Flight Engineer Jean Michel Pin. Meanwhile, monitoring the aircraft systems and performance in real-time at the flight-test-engineer’s (FTE) station were Laurent Lapierre and Philippe Foucault.
The BelugaXL was launched in November 2014 to address the transport and ramp-up capacity requirements for Airbus beyond 2019. The new oversize air transporters are based on the A330-200 Freighter, with a large re-use of existing components and equipment.

Share this story
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Related Topics

Latest freighter operator news

IAI “finds interim solution” to keep 737 conversions flying

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) believes it has found “an interim solution” to the problem which earlier this week grounded some…

Read More

LATAM Cargo takes delivery of latest B767 freighter

By Damian Brett

LATAM Cargo has taken delivery of its latest Boeing 767-300BCF which will be deployed on services between South America and…

Read More

SF Airlines’ fleet reaches 58 freighters

By Damian Brett

SF Airlines’ fleet has reached 58 freighters with the re-delivery of a Boeing 757-200 converted freighter from Precision. The delivery…

Read More