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Toulouse, France - The third Airbus Beluga XL has emerged from the paint shop at the Toulouse factory of the European aircraft manufacturer. Two years ago Airbus revealed its heavy transporter with its distinctive Beluga whale style livery.
This week the third plane of the planned six aircraft was rolled out the paint shop to show off its livery. The plane will now undergo a period of testing before joining BelugaXL 1 and the current BelugaST fleet. Sources say it might be 2021 before it is operational.

The decision to build the BelugaXL was taken in November 2014 to address the transport and ramp-up capacity requirements for Airbus.

They are based on the A330-200 Freighter, with a large re-use of existing components and equipment. The BelugaXL has its enlarged fuselage “bubble” section that is six meters longer and one meter wider than on the BelugaST.

They will gradually replace the ST series in the fleet in the coming years.

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