Thar she blows! Airbus unveils first BelugaXL

If the nickname “Beluga” was not enough to conjure images of whales in the sky, employees at Airbus have made the connection even more obvious with the latest livery on its new A330-200F BelugaXL aircraft. The cetacean grin was favored by 40 percent of the Airbus employees in a company-wide contest to create a new look for the unique aircraft.

This week, Airbus rolled out this even larger version of its original great white whale, the Beluga A300-600ST, which was designed for inter-company use of oversized aircraft parts from factory-to-factory.

Airbus made the decision to upgrade its Beluga fleet in November 2017, citing a “ramp-up” in capacity requirements. The company said the BelugaXL recycles much of its predecessors’ existing components and equipment.

After undergoing ground testing in coming weeks, the first BelugaXL will lift-off this summer – although we’re not quite sure how such an ungainly thing is possible. We can also look forward to seeing four more lovable giants in the skies between this summer and 2019.

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