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Airbus Beluga XL Production Starts

Airbus Beluga XL Production Starts

Airbus has announced the production startup of its Beluga XL Super Transporter, paving the way for the final assembly scheduled to start in early 2017.

» Airlines - W | Monday, December 21, 2015 • Air News Times

Airbus has announced today the production startup of its Beluga XL Super Transporter, paving the way for the final assembly scheduled to start in early 2017.

The first cut of the Beluga XL MSN001 took place in Spain, after completing the detailed design phase. According to the airframer, the rear fuselage section is produced by Aernnova, and it will be the first section to be delivered to the Final Assembly Line of the Beluga in Toulouse, France.

RELATED: New Airbus Beluga Achieves Design Freeze

Launched in November 2014, the Beluga XL was launched based on the Airbus A330-200 platform, with a large re-use of existing componentes and equipment, in order to address the capacity requirements ahead of the ramp-up production of the A350 XWB and other aircraft production rate increases, besides replacing the current Beluga fleet in service with Airbus Transport International (ATI), subsidiary of Airbus.

The Beluga XL will be powered with Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines. The fleet of five Beluga XL aircraft will provide Airbus with an additional 30 percent extra transport capacity compared to the A300-600ST Super Transporter in service with ATI.

Currently, the Beluga ferries complete sections of Airbus aircraft, produced at various sites around Europe, to the final assembly lines in Toulouse, Hamburg and Seville.

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