Latest news from Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International Magazine

First BelugaXL rolls out

This month has seen the first structurally complete airframe for the new BelugaXL roll out of the assembly hangar in Toulouse, ready to start flying by mid-2018.

Once operational, a fleet of these next-generation airlifters will be used to transport completed sections of Airbus aircraft among the company's European production sites and to its final assembly lines in France, Germany and Spain.

The BelugaXL is one of the most voluminous aircraft in existence. With a bulging upper forward fuselage and enormous cargo area, the BelugaXL is hardly recognisable as the outsized airlifter version of the Airbus A330-200 jetliner from which it is derived.

"We have the A330 as a foundation," said Bertrand George, head of the BelugaXL programme, "but many changes have been successfully designed, introduced into the aircraft and tested. Transforming an existing product into a super transporter is not a simple task."

The aircraft will now undergo many months' of tests after installation of its two jet engines, ensuring each of the BelugaXL's systems function as intended. "We will perform bench tests in Toulouse and Hamburg - testing our systems on flight simulators and in laboratories," said George, adding that his team would use hydraulic jacks to simulate flight loads on full-scale copies of specific joints between the new upper bubble and the A330's lower fuselage.

"The data from these tests will be used to clear the aircraft for flight and, later on, to attain type certification," the official pronouncement of the aircraft's safety and airworthiness, he said.

While the first structurally complete BelugaXL moves into its testing phase, the second A330 to be converted into a BelugaXL arrived on schedule in Toulouse to begin its integration process. George noted that with lessons learned from the production of the first transporter, the assembly time for the second is expected to be about two months shorter.

The BelugaXL programme was launched in November 2014 to address Airbus' increasing transport requirements. At six metres longer, one metre wider and with a payload lifting capacity six tonnes greater than the BelugaST transporter version it is replacing, the BelugaXL will be able to transport both wings of the A350 XWB jetliner at once, instead of the single wing currently accommodated on the BelugaST. Five BelugaXLs are scheduled to enter service for Airbus' airlift needs.

 

www.airbus.com

Heavy Lift | News

ACS opens Shanghai office thumbnail image

ACS opens Shanghai office

March 21 - UK-based charter broker Air Charter Service (ACS) has opened a new office in Shanghai as part of its expansion in the Far East.
Views: 266
Hojland up at Saudia Cargo thumbnail image

Hojland up at Saudia Cargo

March 18 - Saudia Cargo has appointed Per Hojland as executive director, cargo operations worldwide.
Views: 514
ABC in motor move thumbnail image

ABC in motor move

March 13 - AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) has delivered an ABB motor from Västerås in Sweden to Shanghai, China, on behalf of Greencarrier Freight Services.
Views: 1229
Bauckham returns to ACS thumbnail image

Bauckham returns to ACS

March 12 - Tony Bauckham, former ceo of Air Charter Service (ACS), has returned the charter broker as a Brexit consultant.
Views: 1227

Heavy Lift Across The World

Discover heavy lift and project logistics industry news from around the world by region.