The fully-equipped nose section of the first BelugaXL – Airbus’ next-generation oversized cargo airlifter – has been delivered, marking a milestone in the aircraft’s production process. Designed, assembled and equipped by Stelia Aerospace to Airbus specifications, the nose section was airlifted to the Airbus final assembly line in Toulouse, France.
Derived from the Freighter version of Airbus’ A330-200 jetliner, BelugaXL is the larger successor to the BelugaST, which is based on earlier-production A300-600 passenger aircraft. The five BelugaXLs to be built will be among the most voluminous aircraft – civil or military – in existence. The first one is planned to enter service in 2019, and the complete fleet of five aircraft will be fully operational by the end of 2025.
The no. 1 BelugaXL nose section’s delivery from Méaulte in northern France to Airbus’ Toulouse industrial site was appropriately performed by one of the five BelugaSTs currently in operation.