Airbus Beluga in Bucharest / Technical information (photo)
On 18 May 2016, for the first time in the history of Romania, an aircraft of the type Airbus A300-600ST (Super Transporter) “Beluga” landed in Bucharest, on the 26L runway a Henri Coanda International Airport, at 18 time: 29. The aircraft landed in Bucharest for refueling and rest of the crew.
Airbus Beluga in Bucharest
Dozens of journalists, spotter and aircraft lovers were present to welcome the largest cargo aircraft in the Airbus fleet, but also the most "hideous". But Airbus did not seek to make a pleasant-looking aircraft, but to be efficient for its missions. Marius Ştefănescu was present at the event and sent us some pictures with the impressive aircraft. Airbus Beluga 4 is 17.9 years old. He operated the first flight on 1998. Propulsion is provided by two GE CF6-80C2A8 engines.
Airbus Beluga is a cargo plane built on the structure of the old Airbus A300-600, having as mission to transport airplane parts and oversized components.
The history of the Beluga aircraft begins in 1992, when Airbus decided to build a special cargo aircraft so that it could transport Airbus components and parts to the assembly lines. The inaugural flight took place in 1994, and in 1995 it received the certification to enter the operational service. Fleet Airbus Beluga aircraft number 5 copies. They weigh 86 tonnes empty, but have the capacity to carry up to 40 tonnes. The maximum take-off weight can be 155 tonnes.
In addition to the usual missions, Airbus Beluga aircraft also participated in various humanitarian campaigns. In 2004, a Beluga aircraft transported supplies to the Indian Ocean area, a region devastated by a powerful tsunami. In 2005, a flying "whale" was used to transport humanitarian and medical aid to the United States in support of operations in areas destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
Airbus Beluga XL
2 years ago, Airbus decided to start a project to build a new cargo aircraft, to replace the current Beluga fleet. The new Beluga XL aircraft will be built on the Airbus A330-200F platform and will be powered by Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines. On 12 December 2015, manufacturing of the first Airbus Beluga XL began, moment marked by the first cutting of the rear part of the fuselage.
As the main benefit, the fleet of Beluga XL aircraft will be able to carry with 30% more compared to the current fleet. Thus, the Airbus A350 XWB project can be supported at optimal capacity, but it also allows the production rate of other models to be increased. The first Beluga XL aircraft will enter operational service in 2019. The Beluga aircraft fleet is operated by Airbus Transport International (ATI), an Airbus subsidiary.