Beluga XL

One of the aircrafts I would really like to see once in my life, but perhaps may never get to actually fly with, is the Beluga. Now, Airbus is actually thinking about / planning to make an XL-version of this aircraft, appropirately to be name the BelugaXL. I must say - if this paint scheme is something they actually plan to do -, is awesome.

Through the Internet, I learn that "The Airbus Beluga XL is a planned large transport aircraft based on the A330-200 airliner, to be the successor to the Airbus Beluga. The XL has an extension on the fuselage top like the Beluga. It is being designed, built and will be operated by Airbus to move oversized aircraft parts.

The program was launched in November 2014 to build five aircraft, with 30% more capacity than the existing five Belugas. The existing Belugas will not be withdrawn from service when the Beluga XL is introduced; a mixed fleet is to operate for at least five years as the increased production rate of single-aisle aircraft requires the ability to move more parts.

It will be able to carry two A350 XWB wings instead of one, the design freeze was announced on 16 September 2015. The new aircraft will be 6 metres longer and one metre wider than the Beluga, and will be able to lift a payload six tons heavier.

General characteristics

  • Capacity: 53t (117,000lb) payload
  • Length: 63.1m (207ft 0in)
  • Wingspan: 60.3m (197ft 10in)
  • Height: 18.9m (62ft 0in)
  • Wing area: 361.6m2 (3,892sqft)
  • Aspect ratio: 10.1
  • Max takeoff weight: 227,000kg (500,449lb)
  • Maximum landing weight: 187t (412,000lb)
  • Maximum zero fuel weight: 178t (392,000lb)
  • Empty weight: 125t (276,000lb)
  • Fuselage diameter: 8.8m (29ft)
  • Powerplant: 2 Rolls-Royce Trent 700 Turbofan, 316kN (71,000lbf) thrust each


  • Range: 4,074km; 2,532mi (2,200nmi) at max payload

IMG 1050 : 2005 - 2021