The BelugaXL has received its Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) paving the way for entry-into-service by early 2020.
The aircraft is an integral part of Airbus’ industrial system and a key enabler for production ramp-up requirements beyond 2019. The BelugaXL allows for 30% extra transport capacity being 7 metres longer and 1 metre wider than its BelugaST predecessor.
With the largest cargo bay cross-section of all existing cargo aircraft worldwide, the BelugaXL can carry two A350 XWB wings compared to the BelugaST, which can only carry one. With a maximum payload of 51 tonnes, the BelugaXL has a range of 4,000km (2200nm).
The aircraft gets its stamp of approval following an intensive flight test campaign that saw the BelugaXL complete more than 200 flight tests, clocking over 700 flight hours.
In total, six aircraft will be built between 2019 and 2023, gradually replacing the current fleet of BelugaST transporters.