Showing posts with label Beluga XL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beluga XL. Show all posts

21 September, 2022

Airbus tests loading system for outsized military cargo on Beluga

The CH53 helicopter successfully loaded into the Beluga during tests performed at Airbus’ Manching site.  Photo Airbus Defence and Space GmbH 2022
The CH53 helicopter successfully loaded into the Beluga during tests performed at Airbus’ Manching site.  Photo Airbus Defence and Space GmbH 2022.

 Airbus Defence and Space has developed and tested a loading system to lift outsized military cargo into the Airbus Beluga A300-600ST aircraft. The capability was successfully tested during a verification exercise with the German armed forces, the system’s first customer, by loading a CH53 military medium-lift helicopter into the Beluga.

“The demand for outsized air cargo capability is on the rise. Capacity is scarce and, in light of current geopolitical developments, many customers are looking for new, fast and efficient solutions. This is exactly what we offer with our BelugaST fleet,” said Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. “Our teams have been working on a remarkable solution to facilitate a speedy, efficient and autonomous handling to load heavy military cargo onto the aircraft. Speed, agility and autonomy are crucial elements for our customers when it comes to such operations.”

The new self-funded cargo loading system and jig, developed by engineers at Airbus Defence and Space, have now been unveiled to customer representatives from international armed forces following the verification event in Manching, north of Munich. The system was developed and manufactured from scratch in 1.5 years – from the initial exchange of ideas with the German customer to its verification, which is still subject to final confirmation by the Bundeswehr in the coming weeks. The system enables arrangements for the loading of a CH53 in a reduced state of dismantling to be completed within less than 1.5 hours while the actual loading process into the Beluga aircraft can be accomplished in about an hour. The total lifting capacity of the system, which requires no crane for its use, reaches 35 tonnes and can be relocated to the aircraft’s destination.

Prior to announcing plans to offer the services of its existing BelugaST fleet earlier this year, the fleet of five aircraft was solely used for the transport of large aircraft sections between various Airbus sites as part of the company’s production system. With the advent of the new BelugaXL, based on the larger A330-200 platform, the existing BelugaST fleet is made ready for customer transport services worldwide.

30 July, 2022

Its not often you see a whale at Luton Airport.....

It's not something you see every day,  but during the week London Luton Airport was visited by a massive Airbus Beluga XL on a training sortie.


Beluga and Beluga XL's can shift so much odd-sized cargo....

The Bulga XL transports A350 wings

Arriving in Bremen 

25 January, 2022

Airbus’ iconic Beluga super transporters ready to serve global outsized-cargo demand

Beluga #3 takes off from  Novosibirsk Airport in Russia on its final destination to Kobe, Japan. / ⒸAirbus S.A.S

Airbus has launched a new air-cargo service using its unique BelugaST fleet to offer freight companies and other potential customers a solution to their outsized freight transportation needs.

The new service - Airbus Beluga Transport - will provide commercially-contracted customers in a variety of sectors, including space, energy, military, aeronautic, maritime and humanitarian sectors, with a solution to their large cargo transport needs.

The first mission took place at the end of 2021 with a delivery from Airbus Helicopters’ manufacturing site in Marignane, France, to Kobe in Japan for an undisclosed customer. Beluga #3 stopped to refuel at Warsaw (Poland), Novosibirsk (Russia) and Seoul (Korea).

Phillippe Sabo, Head of ATI and Air Oversize Transport at Airbus, said: “The Beluga’s wider cross-section will open up new markets and new logistical possibilities for customers. In the case of loading helicopters - not having to dismantle them first - really is a plus. Similarly, the largest commercial aircraft engines can be accommodated in a fully-dressed configuration.”

Based on the A300-600 design, the five-strong BelugaST fleet, which has until now been the backbone of Airbus’ inter-site transportation of large aircraft sections, are being replaced by six new-generation BelugaXLs to support Airbus’ ramp-up of its airliner production.
 The BelugaST is ready to transport outsized cargo, like helicopters, across the world, as demonstrated here during testing earlier in 2021. / ⒸAirbus S.A.S.

The new Airbus Beluga Transport service can cater for a multitude of possible market applications since the planes possess the world's largest interior cross-section of any transport aircraft, accommodating outsized cargo of up to 7.1m in width and 6.7m in height.

In the near future, once Airbus has commissioned all six new BelugaXLs, the fully-released BelugaST fleet will be handed over to a newly-created, subsidiary airline with its own Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and staff. Philippe Sabo added: “The new airline will be flexible and agile to address the needs of external worldwide markets.”

To maximise the BelugaST’s turnaround capability for its targeted international customer base, new loading techniques and equipment are being developed for the operation. These solutions include an automated On-Board Cargo Loader (OBCL) for missions where a loading/unloading  platform is not available at the origin or destination airport.

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13 April, 2021

Airbus making changes with the environmental impact of its Beluga fleet operations.

Airbus further reduces its Beluga fleet’s environmental impact 

Photo Airbus

European planemaker Airbus is taking further steps to enhance its 'green' credentials by operating a flight of a Beluga super-transporter using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from the aerospace company’s Broughton plant in the UK.

The north Wales line station, which uses the Beluga fleet to transport aircraft wings to Toulouse, Hamburg and Bremen, becomes the second Airbus European site to use SAF, after Hamburg introduced the fuel to its cargo activities at the end of 2019.

“This first flight by a Beluga transporter from Broughton, partially fuelled with SAF, marks an important milestone in Airbus’ ambition to decarbonise its industrial operations,” said Tony Derrien, Sustainable Aviation Fuels Project Manager, Airbus.

“Combined with our ongoing research into the potential for 100% SAF in commercial flights, reducing fossil-fuels in our own operations underlines Airbus’ commitment to lessening the impact of our manufacturing footprint and contributing towards a more sustainable future for the aviation sector more generally.”

Sustainable aviation fuels are currently certified by regulators for up to 50% use in commercial flights; the Beluga fleet operating from Broughton will initially be loaded with a 35% blend of non-fossil derived fuel, set to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 400 tonnes over the next three months.

31 January, 2020

The BelugaXL supports Airbus’ production ramp-up with a “smile”

There’s a new shape in the sky as the next-generation BelugaXL begins regular operations in facilitating Airbus’ production ramp-up across the company’s commercial aircraft programmes.

The initial BelugaXL – featuring a livery with distinctive whale-type smile – was delivered for operation in December, and it entered service earlier this month. Ultimately, six of the highly modified twin-engine A330 airliners will operate from 11 destinations in Europe, providing Airbus with additional transport capacity as these oversize cargo airlifters gradually replace the five Beluga ST prececessors – which are derived from the company’s cornerstone A300 aircraft. All Beluga operations are managed by Airbus Transport International (ATI), an Airbus subsidiary.

According to Philippe Sabo, ATI’s Head of Oversize Air Transport, the BelugaXL’s service entry represents a step-change in the way aircraft components are transported across Europe. “With 30% more capacity than the existing Beluga ST, it really will help us to better support the production ramp-up for A350 XWBs and the single-aisle A320 Family,” explained Sabo. “And its high-speed cargo loading system means we can significantly reduce turnaround times – something which is key to achieving our targets.”

Enhancing Airbus’ production network

23 March, 2019

The BelugaXL delivers an “extra-large” role for its team of loadmasters

Airbus’ BelugaXL next-generation oversize airlifter – which will enter service transporting complete aircraft sections across the company’s European production network later this year – marked an important achievement last month with its first flight carrying a set of A350 XWB wings (left and right).

This milestone voyage originated at the company’s industrial facility in Bremen, Germany and underscored the increased capacity over its in-service Beluga ST predecessor (which carries one A350 XWB wing at a time). Concluding at Airbus’ Toulouse, France headquarters, the successful voyage also put a spotlight on the enhanced role Beluga loadmasters have been given ahead of the BelugaXL’s upcoming introduction.

22 July, 2018

BlugaXL's first flight.

The new massive transport aircraft from Airbus has taken to the skies for the first time last week and was a massive success.

The BelugaXL's first flight lasted four hours and eleven minutes and was under the control Captain Christophe Cail, Co-Pilot Bernardo Saez-Benito Hernandez and Test-Flight Engineer Jean Michel Pin. Meanwhile, monitoring the aircraft systems and performance in real-time at the flight-test engineers (FTE) station were Laurent Lapierre and Philippe Foucault.

Following the first flight, the BelugaXL will undergo some 600 hours of flight test over 10 months to achieve Type Certification and entry into service later in 2019.

01 July, 2018

Freshly painted, the BelugaXL................

On Thursday, the very first BelugaXL from Airbus rolled out of the paint-shop with an incredibly special and effective livery making it look like the biggest Beluga Whale in the history of the world.

The special livery was one of six choices submitted to Airbus employees through a poll where 20,000 people participated. With 40% votes in favour, the smiley livery won - well done Airbus workers!

The decision to build the supermassive BelugaXL was taken in November 2014 to address the transport and ramp-up capacity requirements for Airbus beyond 2019. The new oversize air transporters are based on the A330-200 Freighter, with a large re-use of existing components and equipment. The first BelugaXL will now undertake ground tests before its first flight planned for later in the summer 2018 and will enter into service during 2019. Airbus is making five of these mammoth airborne whales!