The Airbus Beluga XL, based on today’s A330 jetliner, will have an enlarged fuselage “bubble” section that is six meters longer and one meter wider than that of the Beluga ST – an aircraft derived from Airbus’ earlier-production A300-600. Here is a picture of the currently in-service Beluga ST.
Next here is what the new Beluga XL is going to look like. The heritage is there and stems from the look of the original Guppy. Boeing also has an awkward looking aircraft parts freighter.
With a bigger “bubble,” the Beluga XL will carry larger sections between Airbus’ European production sites and the FALs in Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany. The new aircraft can even handle a full wing-set for the A350-1000.
Airbus released some images of the birthing of the XL today. The birth will take some time as this is the first of this model.
Hopefully we will see this aircraft roll out later in the year.