The Beluga ST is a big cargo plane made by Airbus which the airplane manufacturer uses to transport materials to its facilities where it manufactures commercial airliners. It has been building the successor to the Beluga ST which has now completed its first flight. The BelugaXL has 30 percent more payload capacity than its predecessor.
The BelugaXL completed its maiden flight from Toulouse Airport in France earlier this week. The test flight was a success which means that there will be further development work on the Beluga series. Airbus is planning to have the BelugaXL fully operational by mid-2019.
This massive airplane is nicknamed “the whale of the sky,” which is apt since the name Beluga represents a species of white whales. The aircraft itself looks like a massive whale that can fly.
It really owns up to its Beluga name as the front of the aircraft has been painted with a smiling whale face. There’s even an extra bubble section which provides the aircraft with its unique experience and increases its resemblance to the Beluga whale.
The BelugaXL has a maximum takeoff weight of 227 tons with the ability to carry 53 tons of cargo. It’s 63.1m long and 18.9m high with a wingspan of 60.3m. Rolls Royce Trent 700 turbofan engines power the behemoth.