A superior cross-section
The Beluga features one of the widest fuselage cross-sections of any aircraft, civil or military, and its 1,400 sq. metre main deck cargo volume is greater than the Lockheed C-5A Galaxy, Antonov An-124 and Boeing C-17.
A full range of outsized payloads can be handled by the Beluga, from International Space Station modules to huge chemical tanks. With a cylindrical cargo compartment cross-section 7.1 meters wide X 7.1 meters high, the Beluga can carry large helicopters with little or no strip-down/disassembly required. The cargo deck’s overall length of 37.7 meters allows long payloads to be handled with ease.
Relocating the Super Transporter's cockpit below its main deck level allows for easy roll-on/roll-off of cargo. The large single-piece main cargo door swings upward to provide access to the cargo compartment and provides unrestricted use of the entire main deck cargo compartment volume.
The A300-600ST's large cargo compartment makes it the only aircraft in the world able to transport 4.88-meter x 4.88-meter (16-ft. x 16-ft.) cross-section loads.