Airbus Completed Basic Core Beluga XL
Airbus Completed Basic Core Beluga XL Integration. The aircraft maker has assembled the core of the Beluga XL high-capacity initial transport aircraft structure designed to replace the ageing A300-600ST logistics aircraft.
The fuselage – based on a freighter Airbus A330-200, with reinforcements – was mounted in December, but has not yet mated with its sections of nose or tail. These sections will be added this year, the manufacturer states, as an 18-month integration process begins.
Beluga XL head program Bertrand George says that the final integration will be “a series of small steps”. “The number of holes to be drilled and fasteners to be installed is much larger than any other Airbus aircraft,” he says.
“Complying with the schedule at each step is the key to being ready for your first flight in 2018.”
After Airframe Integration
During the first 12 months of assembly the fuselage will be completed and equipped with mechanical and electrical components. The last six months will transferring the aircraft to a new station for the installation of 700 Rolls-Royce Trent engine and ground tests. Again Rolls-Royce won the competition among worldwide aircraft engine manufacturer. Trent engine is one of the most successful engine ever made in commercial aircraft industry.
Airbus is renewing the logistics fleet with five Beluga XLS to meet the demand for the A350’s assembly. The Beluga XL will enter service in 2019.