Airbus Beluga XL making progress

 Picture: Airbus

Picture: Airbus

Plans to launch the replacement of the legendary Airbus Beluga, an aircraft I have a great liking for, are well underway...

The new cargo aircraft, due to enter service in 2019, is going to be called Beluga XL and is going to be based on the Airbus A330 instead of the A300, as current Belugas are. And it is also going to be larger and capable to fly a 30% larger payload. 

A welcome addition to Airbus fleet, as the current Beluga fleet is quite stretched with the aircraft production increases that Airbus has achieved over the last few years.

While the Beluga XL exists only in paper for now, the first major step towards production has already been taken: the designation of key suppliers.

 

Beluga XL suppliers.jpg

By the way, for more information on the Airbus Beluga, check out this piece I wrote a while ago for CNN Travel: "Airbus' Beluga: The world's strangest-looking airplane turns 20"