Airbus Taps Major Aerostructure Suppliers for Beluga XL
The suppliers will bring their seasoned experience to Airbus, and each will provide a unique part developed for the one-of-a-kind aircraft.
Stelia Aerospace was chosen to design and build the Nose Fuselage & Main Cargo Door. This is the design that gives the Beluga XL its unmistakable shape. Aernnova has been selected to design and build the Rear Fuselage & Dorsal Fin.
Deharde, in partnership with P3 Voith Aerospace, has been pegged to design and build the Typical Fuselage of the cargo bay. Finally, Aciturri was the one they picked to design and build the Horizontal Tail Plane (HTP) box extension & Auxiliary Fins.
Additional suppliers are expected to be added to the list, but it has not yet been announced who it will be, or what they will be providing.
The Beluga XL is still relatively new, as it launched in November of 2014. It was given its name because of the design’s resemblance to the lovable sea creature, the beluga whale. Due to increases in production, there was a need at Airbus to create a larger outsize cargo freight aircraft. Compared to the current Beluga, the Beluga XL will provide Airbus with an additional 30% air transport capacity.
It was given the XL moniker for its increase in size over the older model - by one meter in width and six meters in length. The increase in size also allows for an increase in capacity to transport A350 XWBs. Now with its massive cargo hold, operators can fit two of the A350 XWBs into the Beluga instead of one.
The first Beluga XL is set to enter service in 2019.
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