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Stelia delivers first Beluga XL upper fuselage
BelugaXL. © Airbus

Stelia delivers first Beluga XL upper fuselage

Stelia Aerospace has delivered the fully equipped upper fuselage section of the first BelugaXL, the enlarged version of the aircraft used to transport major assemblies between the different Airbus sites.

Stelia Aerospace has delivered the fully equipped upper fuselage section of the first BelugaXL to its customer and parent company Airbus. The upper fuselage section will be delivered at Rochefort seaport, on the barge used to transport A380 sections.

The outsize upper fuselage section (8m long, 9m large and 8 m high, and a total weight of 2.1t), will be transported by road from the Stelia Aerospace plant to Rochefort seaport, before being shipped to Toulouse, where the Beluga's final assembly line is located, first by sea and river to Langon river port near Bordeaux, then by road from Langon to Toulouse, following the A380 special transport itinerary.

The newly delivered section is the first part of the upper fuselage/cargo door assembly. The 140m2 cargo door, due to be delivered in September, will be the largest aircraft door ever manufactured in Europe.

This delivery follows the delivery, on 30th May, of the first fully equipped nose section of the BelugaXL to the final assembly line in Toulouse.

The BelugaXL will replace the current BelugaST starting in 2019 under a programme launched in November 2014 to address the increasing transport needs between the different Airbus facilities due to the production ramp-up. In this context, Airbus decided to increase the capacity of its existing BelugaST fleet and to develop and manufacture five new BelugaXLs, derived from the A330.

The Beluga XL features an enlarged fuselage “bubble” section that is six metres longer and one metre wider than on the Beluga ST.  The Beluga XL will be able to carry larger sections of Airbus aircraft, including a full wing-set for the A350 XWB’s latest A350-1000 version. 

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