The First Airbus BelugaXL Rolls out of Hangar With Special Livery
Airbus has unveiled a special livery for one of its newest aircraft, the BelugaXL. The giant rolled out of a hangar in Toulouse, France, on Thursday.
The XL is a larger version of the Beluga, an aircraft designed specifically for transporting airplane parts — the XL has 30% more capacity than its predecessor and can reportedly carry two A350 wings at once.
The livery is inspired by the aircraft's namesake, a Beluga whale. The black streak that starts at the cockpit represents the whale's mouth, which is complimented by large eyes on either side of the fuselage. More than 20,000 Airbus employees voted on the paint job, with this design beating five others.
Based off the A330-200 and powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, Airbus will build five BelugaXLs with the first going into service in 2019. The XL will undergo ground testing before it takes its first test flight this summer. The first iteration of the Beluga fleet will be slowly phased out of service when the last one retires in 2025.