Beluga XL Nose Delivery

Stelia Aerospace has delivered the fully-equipped nose section for the initial Airbus Beluga XL from its Méaulte factory to Airbus at Toulouse-Blagnac. The section was delivered by one of the current Beluga aircraft. The milestone marks further progress in the programme to create a fleet of new in-house super transporters for Airbus to replace its Belugas. Integration work on the first Beluga XL airframe, to which this nose section will be joined, began in Toulouse last year.

The nose is 12m (39ft) long, 6m (19.6ft) wide, 4m (13ft) high and weighs 8,200kg (18,077lb). After design by Stelia Aerospace engineers in Toulouse, the company’s Saint-Nazaire site manufactured the pipes and several mechanical parts and managed the stretching and forming of the panels. Stelia’s Tunis factory produced several metallic parts before the Méaulte facility assembled the complete nose section.

The current Beluga entered service in 1995 and is derived from the A300.

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The nose section for the first Airbus Beluga XL has arrived in Toulouse following assembly.
Stelia Aerospace

The Beluga XL is derived from the A330- 200 freighter and will have 53,000kg (116,845lb) maximum payload, up from the 47,000kg (103,616lb) of the current aircraft. Airbus says the Beluga XL fleet will collectively provide an additional 30% air transport capacity over the existing aircraft. First flight for the Beluga XL is scheduled for 2018 and service entry in 2019.