A super airlifter for heavy and voluminous cargo loads
The Airbus Transport International subsidiary of Airbus operates a fleet of five A300-600ST aircraft, known as Belugas – which are some of the world’s largest cargo carriers. These aircraft perform regular airlift duties for Airbus, carrying fuselage sections and wings between the different European production sites.
While the Belugas are currently focussed on meeting Airbus’ internal transportation needs, in the past a wide range of commercial charter missions were performed by Airbus Transport International, from airlifting a 17.6-metre-long x 6.5-metre-diameter chemical tank weighing 39 metric tonnes to transporting a large French masterpiece painting.
Space hardware manufacturers have used the Beluga for reliable charter flights with payloads that have included space station modules, launch vehicle hardware and the most delicate satellite payloads. A pallet-mounted heating module provides a comfortable environment for spacecraft and other cargo that requires temperature-controlled conditions.
The Beluga is a highly-modified version of the A300-600 and features one of the widest fuselage cross-sections of any aircraft, civil or military. Tailored for the transport of heavy and voluminous cargo loads, the Super Transporter is able to carry a payload of 47 metric tonnes (103,616 lb.) over a range of 900 nautical miles (1,667 km).
More on the Beluga aircraft
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Airbus has an international network of support centres, training centres and spares stores, as well as 160 field offices around the world where nearly 300 resident customer support managers assist airlines in their daily operations.
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