Discover the Beluga, a cargo plane that looks like a whale | Technology

Discover the Beluga, a cargo plane that looks like a whale | Technology



Beluga is the trade name for an Airbus cargo aircraft which, like parts for other aircraft, can carry large volumes.

They attract attention not only because of their size, but also because of their shape which resembles a white whale, a species also known as beluga.

Two models are available. The Beluga ST is the one that came to Brazil to bring a helicopter. It has been in service since 1994, although no new units are currently being produced. It will gradually be replaced by the Beluga XL, which made its first commercial flight in 2020.

Here are some of the characteristics of these “whales in the sky”:

Beluga ST Beluga XL
Length 56.1 meters 63.1 meters
Height 17.2 meters 18.9 meters
wingspan 44.8 meters 60.3 meters
hull thickness: 7.7 meters 8.8 meters

maximum load capacity

Beluga ST Beluga XL
Length 39.1 meters 46.8 meters
Lenght 7.1 meters 8.1 meters
Height 7.1 meters 7.5 meters
Total weight 40 tons 44 tons
Total volume 1,500 m³ 2,209 m³

Beluga ST Beluga XL
Cruising speed 780 km/h 737 km/h
maximum distance 1.6 thousand kilometers 4,000 kilometers
engines 2x GE CF6-80C2A8 2x Rolls Royce Trent 700

See photo of the two Beluga aircraft models:

Beluga ST transports part of an A400 in Germany in 2010 — Photo: Joerg Sarbach/AP

The Beluga ST “whale” aircraft arrives in Brazil for the first time. — Photo: Fabiane de Paula/SVM

People watch the arrival of the Beluga ST plane in Fortaleza. — Photo: Fabiane de Paula/SVM

Pilots celebrate the first test flight of the Airbus Beluga XL, in France, in 2018 – Photo: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

The Airbus Beluga XL aircraft completed its maiden flight and trials in France in 2018 – Photo: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

The Beluga XL, Airbus’ new cargo plane, is seen at Toulouse-Blagnac airport after its first test flight of around four hours in Blagnac, France.

Airbus Beluga XL near other aircraft at an airport in France — Photo: Disclosure / Airbus

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