This third Beluga XL was seen leaving the hanger in Toulouse back in May and has now emerged with its livery completed.
The third whale is expected to join service early in 2021. Beluga XL operated it’s first flight back on 9th of January this year. Three more BelugaXL’s will be added to Airbus’s fleet.
The aircraft was certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in November 2019. The unique shape of the aircraft makes it more efficient for transporting large aircraft parts.
The first Beluga XL entered operations back in January this year. The older Belugas will gradually be retired from Airbus and sold to external customers.
Airbus took the decision to build a bigger and better Beluga, the BelugaXL in November 2014. This decision was made to ramp-up its capacity requirement beyond 2019.
The BelugaXL is 63 meters long and 8.8 meters wide, making it the largest cargo bay cross-section of all active cargo aircraft. The Airbus A380’s fuselage is only 7.14 meters wide.