21 September 2014

[210914.EN.SEA] Airbus' 'White Whale' Celebrates 20 Years of Transporting Component Parts

WITH its maiden flight on September 13, 1994, the Beluga cargo aircraft - named after the white whale because of its shape ¡V is celebrating 20 years of flying Airbus parts between its European plants.

Since 1995, five Belugas replaced the aging Super Guppy transporters to supply the Airbus final assembly lines in Toulouse and Hamburg. Today, there are some 60 flights are between 11 sites, carrying parts.

The Beluga fleet is operated by Airbus Transport International (ATI), an Airbus subsidiary, and each Beluga crew is composed of a pilot, a co-pilot and a flight engineer.

With the production start of the A350 XWB in 2012 and with other Airbus programmes, Beluga activities again will increase in the next five years, reports Atlanta area Air Cargo World.

¡§The Beluga is an essential element and it is thanks to its reliability and engagement of the Beluga teams that we can fulfil our constant pursuit of efficiency¡¨, said chief operationss officer Gunter Butschek.

The Beluga is based on the twin-engine A300-600R and can carry 47 tonnes non-stop over 1,660 kilometres or 900 nautical miles.

Source : HKSG.

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