November 17, 2014 - To industrially accompany
the A350 XWB ramp-up and other aircraft
production rate increases, Airbus took the
decision to launch the development and
production of five new Belugas.
The new Beluga will be based on the A330 with a
large re-use of existing components and
equipment. The distinctive looking lowered
cockpit, the cargo bay structure and the
rear-end and tail will be amongst the items
which will be newly developed.
The first of the five new Belugas will enter in
service in mid-2019. The existing Beluga fleet
will operate in parallel, and will be
progressively retired through to 2025.
The current Beluga fleet of five aircraft is
based on the A300. The "Beluga", is Airbus’
unique method for transporting large aircraft
components– between company production sites in
Europe. Airbus had already l
launched “the Fly 10000” project aiming at
doubling the current Beluga capacity by 2017.
However the current capacity is limited and the
new Beluga fleet will close this capacity gap.
With its flexibility and short transport
lead-times, oversize air transport is a
cornerstone of Airbus’ industrial operations.