Bel­uga the Road

India Strategic - - NSTR -

TOULOUSE. The first large sec­tions of Air­bus’ next gen­er­a­tion new trans­port air­craft, the Bel­u­gaXL, have ar­rived at the air­craft Fi­nal As­sem­bly fa­cil­ity (L34) in Toulouse, said a com­pany re­lease April 12, 2017.

Fol­low­ing a five night long road con­voy from Aern­nova’s fac­tory in Ber­an­tevilla, north east­ern Spain, the pan­els (two lat­er­als, one cen­tral) are re­quired to com­plete the rear sec­tion of the Bel­u­gaXL.

To­gether with fur­ther work pack­ages built by var­i­ous other part­ners, the sec­tions will even­tu­ally form the first Bel­u­gaXL. The de­sign con­cept of the air­craft is sim­i­lar to the cur­rent Bel­uga with the cargo bay struc­ture, the air­craft’s rear-end and tail be­ing some of the sec­tions newly de­vel­oped.

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 A330200 Freighter, with a large re-use of ex­ist­ing com­po­nents and equip­ment. The first of five Bel­u­gaXLs will fly mid2018 and en­ter into ser­vice in 2019.

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