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Beluga

Beluga

For outsized cargo transport

Featuring one of the most voluminous cargo holds of any civil or military aircraft flying today, the Airbus Beluga offers a unique way to transport oversized air cargo. Also known as A300-600ST Super Transporter, the company’s five existing Belugas play a key role in keeping its production and assembly network operating at full capacity, with the fleet’s overall pace of operations – managed by the Airbus Transport International (ATI) subsidiary – growing to support production ramp-ups.

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Beluga

Key figures

Key figures
  • Overall length 56.15 m 184 ft 3 in
  • Height 17.24 m 56 ft 7 in
  • Wing span 44.84 m 147 ft 2 in
Dimensions
Overall length                                        56.15 m
Cabin length                                        37.7 m
Fuselage width 7.31 m
Max cabin width 5.28 m
Wing span (geometric) 44.84 m
Height
17.24 m
Track
11.05 m
Wheelbase 11.05 m
Performance
Max take-off weight
155  tonnes
Max landing weight
144 tonnes
Max zero fuel weight
133.5 tonnes
Max fuel capacity
23 860 litres
Dimensions
Overall length 184 ft 3 in
Cabin length 123 ft 8 in
Fuselage width 24 ft 0 in
Max cabin width 17 ft 4 in
Wing span (geometric) 147 ft 2 in
Height
56 ft 7 in
Track
25 ft 0 in
Wheelbase 36 ft 25 in
Performance
Max take-off weight
341 (713) lb x 1000
Max landing weight
308.6 lb x 1000
Max zero fuel weight
294 5 (314) lb x 1000
Max fuel capacity
6 303 USG

Aircraft weights and capabilities shown are the highest values. Ranges shown are for typical passenger load.

 

Airlifter extraordinaire

Featuring one of the most voluminous cargo holds of any civil or military aircraft flying today, the Airbus Beluga offers a unique way to transport oversized air cargo.

Also known as A300-600ST Super Transporter, the company’s five existing Beluga airlifters play a key role in keeping its production and assembly network operating at full capacity – with the fleet’s overall pace of operations growing to support production ramp-ups. Airbus’ oversize air transport capabilities will be further reinforced by a new generation of A330 Family-based Beluga aircraft, the BelugaXL, which was launched in November 2014. 

With more than 20 years of reliable service, the Beluga carries complete sections of Airbus aircraft from different production sites around Europe to the final assembly lines in Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany. The five-aircraft fleet of A300-600ST Belugas – operated by the Airbus Transport International (ATI) subsidiary – transports fuselage sections, wings and tails for Airbus’ single-aisle A320 and widebody A330 families, along with parts for the A350 XWB. 

ATI ensures a high level of customer satisfaction with loading, unloading, and delivery designed to be fast, safe, flexible, and reliable – as demonstrated by over two decades of successful operations throughout the world.

 

Expanding capabilities: BelugaXL

To support the A350 XWB ramp-up and other production rate increases, Airbus is expanding its existing A300-600ST fleet with the development and production of five new BelugaXL aircraft, derived from the company’s versatile A330 widebody product line. 

In addition to the significant use of existing components and equipment, Airbus’ new A330-based Beluga will incorporate newly-developed elements including its lowered cockpit, cargo bay structure, and rear and tail section. 

The first A330-based BelugaXL aircraft is planned to enter service in mid-2019 – operating in parallel with the existing five-aircraft A300-600ST fleet, which is to be progressively retired through 2025.

 

BelugaXL - FAL starts

 

Speed and efficiency

Beluga combines outsized cargo-carrying capability with the speed and efficiency of Airbus’s A300-600 airliner. It enables short transport times for production, and the large main cargo deck minimizes the need for payload breakdown, crating and packaging.

The semi-automated main deck cargo loading system ensures easy and efficient handling of payloads, controlled by the trained crews of Airbus Transport International – which operates the five-aircraft Beluga fleet.

 

Flight deck

The Beluga retains the same modern flight deck that is in worldwide operation on Airbus A300-600s and A310s. 

It is operated by a three-member crew comprising two pilots and a loadmaster. The main instrument panel incorporates six cathode ray tube (CRT) displays that continuously provide flight, navigation and systems-monitoring information in a clear, comprehensive manner. 

Also included in the cockpit are controls for a transportable heating module that can be installed in the main deck cargo compartment. The module provides temperature-controlled conditions for sensitive payloads carried by the Beluga, including satellites and paintings.

 

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02 May 2017

Airbus Beluga - Patrouille de France 4

The Beluga transporter aircraft, which flew in formation with the French Air Force “Patrouille de France” aerobatic demonstration team on 30 May 2014, plays a vital role in ensuring the ramp-up of several Airbus programmes

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02 June 2014

Airbus Beluga - Patrouille de France 3

The Airbus Beluga’s milestone formation flight with the French Air Force “Patrouille de France” aerobatic demonstration team took place in France one day before the Muret-based Airexpo air show

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02 June 2014

Airbus Beluga - Patrouille de France 1

Airbus’ Beluga transporter aircraft performed a memorable formation flight with the French Air Force’s “Patrouille de France” aerobatic demonstration team on 30 May 2014

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17 June 2014

Airbus Beglua loading hangar

Six new loading hangars dedicated to Airbus' Beluga cargo carriers – the first of which opened May 2014 in Hamburg, Germany – will help these freighters increase their flight hour totals to support the company's latest production rate increases

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 / 
15 September 2014

Airbus Beluga – Fuselage close-up 3

In service since 1996, the Beluga combines outsized cargo-carrying capability with the jet speed and efficiency of Airbus’ A300-600 airliner

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15 September 2014

Airbus Beluga

The five-aircraft Beluga fleet services a network comprised of 11 stations located in France, Germany, Spain, the UK and Turkey

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15 September 2014

Airbus Beluga – No. 1 aircraft on ground

AM SPS BELUGA MSN14.23-07-2013. FOTO JAVIER DIAZ

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12 September 2014

Airbus’ fleet of Beluga aircraft

Airbus operates a fleet of five Beluga cargo airlifters, which together perform more than sixty flights each week to transport components for the company’s jetliners between 11 sites in Europe

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