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06 January 2017
Commercial Aircraft

Development milestone: Integration begins for Airbus’ next-generation Beluga XL

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 2
Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 2 SADONNET Celine - MasterFilms
04 January 2017

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 2

A section of the Beluga XL core airframe is delivered for its integration at Airbus’ Lagardère industrial zone in Toulouse, France

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 5 Airbus, PIGEYRE Pascal - MasterFilms
06 January 2017

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 5

For the first 12 months of assembly activity, the Beluga XL core airframe will be completed and its mechanical and electrical systems will be fitted at an integration station

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 4 Airbus, DOUMENJOU Alexandre - Masterfilm
04 January 2017

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 4

The Beluga XL core airframe is an extract of an Airbus A330-200 freighter that already has been structurally reinforced, providing the platform on which the next-generation oversize cargo airlifter’s airframe will be built

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 3 Airbus, DOUMENJOU Alexandre - Masterfilm
04 January 2017

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 3

Integration of the Beluga XL core airframe will be performed inside the two-section L34 building at Airbus’ Lagardère industrial zone in France, which is adjacent to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 1 Philippe Masclet - Master Films
04 January 2017

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 1

The Beluga XL offers an extra 30 per cent in transport capacity compared to the Beluga ST predecessor aircraft

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 6 Airbus, PIGEYRE Pascal - MasterFilms
06 January 2017

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 6

The final six months of the Beluga XL core airframe’s 18-month integration process will involve ground testing and engine installation

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 7 Airbus, PIGEYRE Pascal - MasterFilms
06 January 2017

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 7

A total of five Beluga XL airlifters – which are based on the airframe of Airbus’ versatile A330 – are to be built in total, with service entry planned for 2019

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 8 Airbus, PIGEYRE Pascal - MasterFilms
06 January 2017

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 8

The Beluga XL’s core airframe will be integrated inside the two-section L34 building at Airbus’ Lagardère industrial zone

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 9 MASTERFILMS, GOUSSE Herve - MasterFilms
06 January 2017

Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 9

Elements of the Beluga XL core airframe are rolled out to Airbus’ L34 hangar for the start of integration

Airbus’ next-generation oversize cargo airlifter is transitioning from concept to reality as the first Beluga XL core airframe starts its 18-month integration process at the company’s production facilities in Toulouse, France.
The core airframe is an extract of an Airbus A330-200 freighter that already has been structurally reinforced, providing the platform on which the Beluga XL airframe will be built. This element was assembled in December without a nose fuselage or tail assembly – both of which will be added during activity planned in 2017.
Integration of the Beluga XL core airframe will be performed inside the two-section L34 building at Airbus’ Lagardère industrial zone, which is adjacent to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport.
For the first 12 months of the assembly activity, the airframe will be completed and its mechanical and electrical systems will be fitted at an integration station. For the remaining six months, the aircraft will move to a second station for ground testing and engine installation.
“The coming year of final integration will be a series of small steps,” said Beluga XL programme head Bertrand George. “The number of holes to be drilled and fasteners to be installed is far bigger than on any other Airbus aircraft. Sticking to schedule at each step is the key to being ready for first flight in 2018. I fully trust the capability of our teams to make it happen together.”
Based on the airframe of the versatile A330 jetliner, a total of five Beluga XL airlifters are to be built, with the first to enter operational service in 2019. They will gradually replace the existing fleet of Beluga ST aircraft, which were derived from the shorter-fuselage A300.
Once the first Beluga XL enters service, it will provide crucial support to Airbus’ production ramp-up from day one thanks to its ability to carry a full set of A350 XWB wings.
Beluga XL_Core airframe integration 2  
04 January 2017 Newsroom

A section of the Beluga XL core airframe is delivered for its integration at Airbus’ Lagardère industrial zone in Toulouse, France

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