First BelugaXL becomes airborne for its maiden flight

Toulouse, 19 July 2018 – The first BelugaXL took off this morning from Blagnac in Toulouse,

France at 10:30 hrs local time, for its maiden flight over south-western France. The aircraft is

the first of five BelugaXL to enter into service later in 2019 and to gradually replace the

BelugaST transporters.

 le Beluga XL a une soute plus longue de 6 m et plus large de 1 m que le A300-600ST ,Le BELUGA XL peut emporter une charge de 53 tonnes sur une distance maximale de 4 000 km.

The crew in the cockpit on board this flight comprised: Captain Christophe Cail, Co-Pilot Bernardo Saez-Benito Hernandez and Test-Flight Engineer Jean Michel Pin. Meanwhile, monitoring the aircraft systems and performance in real-time at the flight-test-engineer’s (FTE) station were Laurent Lapierre and Philippe Foucault.

The BelugaXL was launched in November 2014 to address the transport and ramp-up capacity requirements for Airbus beyond 2019. The new oversize air transporters are based on the A330-200 Freighter, with a large re-use of existing components and equipment.

Version Airbus Beluga XL Airbus A300-600ST
Équipage 2 Pilotes 2 Pilotes + 1 Mécanicien Navigant
Longueur 63,10 m 56,15 m
Envergure 60,30 m 44,84 m
Hauteur 18,90 m 17,24 m
Largeur du fuselage 8,80 m 3,95 m/7,40 m
Largeur de la cabine m 3,7 m
Empattement   20 m
Voie du train d'atterrissage   7,59 m
Superficie des ailes 361,6 m2 258,8 m2
Masse à vide 125 tonnes 90 tonnes
Masse maximale au décollage 227 tonnes 155 tonnes
Masse maximale à l'atterrissage 187 tonnes 140 tonnes
Charge max. au décollage 53 tonnes 47 tonnes
Vitesse de croisière Mach 0,699 Mach 0,69
Autonomie 4 074 km avec 53 tonnes 2 779 km avec 40 tonnes

4 632 km avec 26 tonnes

Réacteurs 2 x Rolls-Royce Trent 700 CF6-80C2A8
Poussée 32 250 kg 23 800 kg



From left to right:

Didier Evrard, Executive Vice President Head of Programmes at Airbus Commercial Aircraft, Bertrand George, Head of BelugaXL Programme, Laurent Lapierre, Flight Test Engineer, Philippe Foucault , Flight Test Engineer, Jean-Michel Pin, Test Flight Engineer, Bernardo Saez Benito, Experimental Test Pilot, Christophe Cail, Experimental Test Pilot and Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft







Photos by Manuel BELLELI Flying Echo Photo Magazine