The BelugaXL Takes Its First Flight
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Airbus’ newest aircraft completed its maiden voyage today. The first Airbus BelugaXL took off from Toulouse, France (TLS) and successfully completed its first test flight.
Airbus teased the voyage on social media for the aircraft that’s sole purpose is to ferry oversized airplane parts around the globe.
The plane, which can carry more than 50 tons of cargo, took off from Toulouse Blagnac Airport at 10:30am local time.
It made a low pass over the airfield all with the original Beluga, the BelugaXL’s smaller predecessor, in the foreground. The XL, based off the A330-200, is 30% larger than the Beluga.
The aircraft can carry two A350 wings inside with a maximum range of 4,000 kilometers (about 2,485 miles). Registered F-WBXL, the bird was tracked by FlightRadar24 while it circled over southern France and the Mediterranean Sea.
Airbus flew another aircraft alongside it to capture the plane that looks like no other. Airbus employees voted on the aircraft’s livery that’s designed to resemble the aircraft’s namesake, a Beluga whale.
After four hours and 15 minutes in flight, it landed safely back in Toulouse.
Airbus celebrated the inaugural voyage and opened up the plane’s nose — putting the flight crew in their orange jump suits on full display.
The first XL will go into regular service in 2019. By 2025, the fleet of Belugas will have been phased out of service, being replaced by five XLs.
Featured image by Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees