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17 November 2014
Commercial Aircraft

Airbus to expand oversize air transport capability

Airbus expands Beluga fleet_1 2011 Exm gousse, Herve Gousse 2011
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17 November 2014

Airbus expands Beluga fleet_1

Airbus’ existing fleet of A300-600ST Belugas will be increased with the development and production of five new oversize air transporters, which are to be based on the company’s versatile A330 Family aircraft

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Airbus expands Beluga fleet_3 Bengt Lange.www.bildwerk-lange.de
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17 November 2014

Airbus expands Beluga fleet_3

To further expand its oversize air transport capabilities for the A350 XWB ramp-up and other aircraft production rate increases, Airbus has launched the development and production of five new A330-based Beluga transporters – which will operate in parallel with the company’s existing fleet of five A300-600ST Belugas

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Summary

Launches development of new Beluga oversize transport aircraft

To industrially accompany the A350 XWB ramp-up and other aircraft production rate increases, Airbus took the decision to launch the development and production of five new Belugas.
The new Beluga will be based on the A330 with a large re-use of existing components and equipment. The distinctive looking lowered cockpit, the cargo bay structure and the rear-end and tail will be amongst the items which will be newly developed. 
The first of the five new Belugas will enter in service in mid-2019. The existing Beluga fleet will operate in parallel, and will be progressively retired through to 2025.
The current Beluga fleet of five aircraft is based on the A300. The "Beluga", is Airbus’ unique method for transporting large aircraft components – between company production sites in Europe. Airbus had already launched “the Fly 10000” project aiming at doubling the current Beluga capacity by 2017. However the current capacity is limited and the new Beluga fleet will close this capacity gap.
With its flexibility and short transport lead-times, oversize air transport is a cornerstone of Airbus’ industrial operations.

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