One of the more interesting birds in the sky these days is the Airbus Beluga, also known as the A300-600ST Super Transporter. Beluga was designed as a heavy cargo aircraft to ferry parts of Airbus planes to various assembly lines around the world. Beluga is capable of carrying wings of an A340 airliner, the fuselage of its newest widebody A350 and complete sections of aircraft.
The Airbus Beluga looks striking like its namesake, the Beluga Whale, pictured below:
There are currently five Belugas in service and because of their age and the increasing size of Airbus planes, the company is beginning to contemplate a potential replacement.
Beluga’s maiden flight took off from Toulouse, France in September 1994. Since then, the number of flight hours per aircraft has doubled and will double again by 2017 to 10,000 flight hours. This increase comes as a result of the success of Airbus.
The following video shows the take-off of an Airbus Beluga:
The following video takes us inside an Airbus manufacturing facility, frequently supplied by Belugas, to see how planes are manufactured:
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