With an Airbus test crew aboard, the BelugaXL completes its maiden flight on 19 July 2018.Performed from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in southwestern France, it marks the start of this next-generation oversize airlifter’s flight test and certification campaign.
A fleet of BelugaXLs will replace the current BelugaST versions, which are used to transport completed aircraft sections among the company’s European production sites and to its final assembly lines in Europe.
The XL has an extension on the fuselage top like the Beluga. It is being designed, built and will be operated by Airbus to move oversized aircraft components.
With 30% more capacity than the existing Beluga, it will be able to carry two A350 XWB wings instead of one. Its new fuselage is 6.9 m longer and 1.7 metre wider than the Beluga, and it will be able to lift a payload 6 tons heavier.