Airbus Beluga: An overview of the whale-shaped cargo plane

By TravelWiseJan 3, 2024 20:15 PMNews
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Airbus Beluga: An overview of the whale-shaped cargo plane
An overview of the Airbus Beluga aircraft, known as the Airbus A300-600ST. Source: Pixabay

There are many airplanes in the world that deserve attention due to their technical capabilities, size, or even shape. One such aircraft is the Airbus Beluga, officially known as the Airbus A300-600ST. It is a super transporter that is famous for its unusual shape, similar to that of a whale.

This aircraft was first used in 1995 to transport large aircraft components and bulky cargo within the Airbus production network. Since then, the Airbus Beluga has become the main tool for improving logistics and production efficiency at Airbus. ISP.PAGE took a closer look at what the Airbus Beluga is all about.

Design features

The Airbus Beluga is a spacious aircraft that can accommodate a cargo volume of about 1,400 cubic metres. These characteristics allow it to carry more than 40 tonnes of cargo. In addition, to facilitate loading and unloading, the aircraft has a raised cabin and reinforced lower structure, improved landing gear and modern avionics adapted to its specialized tasks.

In total, the aircraft crew consists of 3 people: two pilots and a collection manager responsible for cargo handling.

Airbus Beluga: An overview of the whale-shaped cargo plane
Airbus Beluga in the air. Source: Pixabay

Development

The Airbus Beluga is to be replaced by the updated BelugaXL. It is an updated and enlarged version of its predecessor that offers 30% more capacity to accommodate sections of newer and larger Airbus models such as the A350 XWB.

Impact on the industry

The Airbus Beluga and BelugaXL are examples of a significant logistics innovation. They enable the fast and efficient transportation of oversized Airbus aircraft parts and large components over long distances.

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