On this blog, we don’t pay that much attention to cargo aircraft – normally because they’re either:
- Too bland
- Too boring
- Or just plain dull – however useful they are at taking cargo from A to B
Figure 1: An Atlas Air Boeing 747 that has practically no markings on it… at all.
It doesn’t beat this Atlas Air 747… pic.twitter.com/FmEQZ1mroM
— Kevin-Economy&Beyond (@EconomyBeyond) April 2, 2018
There is one that makes this editor smile occasionally – and it’s the Airbus Beluga. The next generation variant – the Beluga XL is looking more complete each day, with Airbus releasing a photo of it – now with engines attached.
— Airbus (@Airbus) April 6, 2018
The Rolls Royce Trent engines attached to the plane mark another step in the oversized carrier as it heads towards first flight – which expected in Summer 2018. Based on the Airbus A330, the Beluga XL will be able to carry 30% more than the current Airbus Beluga – such as two A350 wings instead of one.
Entry into service is expected in 2019, and will slowly replace the existing Beluga fleet (based on the A300-600).
Whilst it lacks the grace of some aircraft – this one has a purpose to help other aircraft to be assembled. And you won’t be able to miss it when it takes to the skies.
Header image – Airbus Beluga XL – now with engines. Image, Airbus via Twitter
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, with in-depth coverage, unique research as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.
It’s fast coming up to Aircraft Interiors Expo 2018 – and Economy Class and Beyond will be there covering the latest news and announcements – as well as some deep dives into some of the innovations coming forward in passenger experience. Why not connect with me there?