Airbus Beluga XL ‘flying whale’ Made its Maiden Flight
The new BelugaXL (Airbus A330-700L) landed at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, France, at 2:41 p.m. local time on Thursday after a flight of four hours and 11 minutes. According to Airbus, the first of five aircraft has successfully finished its first test flight.
Airbus says the BelugaXL will undergo some 600 hours of flight tests over 10 months before entering expected service in 2019.
The smiling whale design of Airbus BelugaXL was chosen by Airbus staff following a poll in which 20,000 employees were given six options and asked to choose their favorite. With 40% of the vote, it was the clear winner.