Toulouse - Beluga XL number 2 has appeared out of the paint shop in Toulouse. The Beluga XL is the successor to the current Beluga ST which has been in service for over 20 years.
As Airbus aims to ramp up production of the A320 and A350 jets, the larger XL will enable the European aircraft manufacturer to transport more aircraft parts from its suppliers across Europe at a time. For instance, the new Beluga XL is able to ship two A350 wings while the older Beluga ST could only one.
The aircraft was rolled out of the paint shop for a photo session yesterday. Airbus has posted photos on its social media accounts.
Airbus will build six Beluga XL in total and retire five existing Beluga ST in 2020. Airbus is reportedly seeking to sell the planes to heavy-freighter operators such as Volga-Dnepr.