The first BelugaXL took off this morning from Blagnac in Toulouse, France at 10:30 hrs local time, for its maiden flight over south-western France. It landed at Toulouse-Blagnac at 14:41 hrs local time after successfully completing its first flight lasting four hours and 11 minutes. The aircraft is the first of five BelugaXL to enter into service later in 2019 and to gradually replace the BelugaST transporters.
The crew in the cockpit on board this flight comprised: Captain Christophe Cail, Co-Pilot Bernardo Saez-Benito Hernandez and Test-Flight Engineer Jean Michel Pin. Meanwhile, monitoring the aircraft systems and performance in real-time at the flight-test-engineer’s (FTE) station were Laurent Lapierre and Philippe Foucault.
Following the first flight, the BelugaXL will undergo some 600 hours of flight test over 10 months to achieve Type Certification and entry into service later in 2019.
The BelugaXL was launched in November 2014 to address the transport and ramp-up capacity requirements for Airbus beyond 2019. The new oversize air transporters are based on the A330-200 Freighter, with a large re-use of existing components and equipment. The aircraft will operate from 11 destinations as Airbus’ method of transporting large aircraft components.
Toulouse, 19 July 2018