I Want to Ride This Whale - New Airbus BelugaXL has hit the skies
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January 15, 2020 - by Andrew Daniels for popularmechanics.com
From beefy machines to behemoth buildings, we're big fans of big suckers—so much that we once came up with a list of the biggest things in the world and only stopped at 50 because we had to meet a deadline.
Our love for the large especially includes prodigious planes, so you can imagine how long we've been waiting to see the much-anticipated Airbus BelugaXL—a colossal cargo plane that will carry aircraft parts between Europe and China—officially take to the skies after years of tinkering and testing.
Last week, the BelugaXL—not to be confused with its almost-as-big, but crucially not-as-big predecessor, the regular ol' Beluga—made its first true operational flight after logging more than 200 flight tests in the years since its development in 2014.
The XL is powered by twin Rolls-Royce Trent 700 turbofan engines and features a lowered cockpit and colossal cargo bay.
At 63 meters long (seven more than the Beluga 1.0) and 8 meters wide (compared to 7), it has the largest cross-section of any cargo aircraft in the world, full stop. Plus, it can carry two A350 XWB wings.
The old Beluga, by comparison, could only carry one such wing. Hence what Airbus says is the XL's additional 30 percent transport capacity...
Read and see more... https://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/airlines/a30520657/airbus-beluga-xl/
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