The BelugaXL has entered into service, providing Airbus with 30 percent extra transport capacity in order to support the on-going production ramp-up of
commercial aircraft programs.
The aircraft, which is an integral part of Airbus’ industrial system, made its first operational
flight on Jan. ninth. This is the first of six BelugaXL to begin work alongside the BelugaST
predecessors, with the additional aircraft being introduced between 2020 and 2023.
Launched just over five years ago, in November 2014, the entry into service milestone marks
yet another successful achievement for the internal aircraft program which was awarded
Type Certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Nov. 2019,
following an intensive flight test campaign that saw the BelugaXL complete more than 200
flight tests, clocking over 700 flight hours.
At 63 meters long and 8 meters wide, the BelugaXL has the largest cargo bay cross-section
of all existing cargo aircraft worldwide. The BelugaXL can carry two A350 XWB wings
compared to the BelugaST, which can only carry one. With a maximum payload of 51 tonnes,
the BelugaXL has a range of 4,000km (2200nm).