New BelugaXL will have “smile” of whale
Next generation Airbus cargo plane is scheduled to debut in 2019
BelugaXL, the new generation of the Airbus freighter, will debut in 2019 with a whale-like face, right up to a smile on the fuselage. The design was chosen by the vote of the European manufacturer’s employees. The new transport jet is based on the A330 family, while the first-generation Beluga are derived from the veteran A300.
“We have proposed six different designs for our employees to choose. Everyone respected the identity of our brand with conventional and unusual paintings, even adding a touch of fun, “said Tim Orr, brand director of Airbus.
Airbus has already confirmed it will build five units of the new Beluga. The special aircraft is used to carry wings and large fuselage sections of aircraft produced in the company’s different plants in Europe to the final assembly lines in France, Germany and Spain.
Since 1996, Airbus has been operating five Beluga A300-600STs, which from 2019 will be replaced by the new generation, higher capacity model. Prior to Beluga, the European manufacturer used the Boeing Super Guppy turboprop in this role.