Toulouse, 19th July 2018 – On the occasion of the first flight of the BelugaXL, the successor to the current BelugaST, due to enter service in 2019, STELIA Aerospace would like to pay tribute to the performances of this new exceptional aircraft, and the teams share the enthusiasm of being part of this great adventure since the launch of the programme at STELIA Aerospace in January 2015.
STELIA Aerospace is indeed in charge of the design, assembly and testing of the entire front section of the BelugaXL, including the nose section (cockpit) and the main cargo-door.
The nose section, with outstanding dimensions (12 meters long, 5.8 meters large, 5.7 meters high and weighing 10 tonnes) was delivered by STELIA Aerospace’s site of Méaulte to the final assembly line in Toulouse, fully equipped with its electric, mechanic and hydraulic systems and flight commands, on 30th May, the exact day planned two years earlier.
The main cargo door, composed of a mobile part and a fixed one (the frame), measures 13.1 meters long, 8.8 meters large and 7.9 meters high, and was assembled and equipped by STELIA Aerospace’s site in Rochefort, and delivered to Airbus on 6th July 2017.
Two other STELIA Aerospace sites are involved in the BelugaXL programme: Saint-Nazaire (forming, stretching and mechanical machining of the front fuselage panels, measuring up to 6 meters with very significant curves, and piping and elementary parts) and Tunis (elementary parts).
Thanks to virtual reality, the STELIA Aerospace teams were able to prepare the cockpit systems installation process while considering accessibility problems and defining the sequencing of operations.
Cédric GAUTIER, CEO of STELIA Aerospace, said ; “the BelugaXL programme demonstrates once again the ability of STELIA Aerospace teams to design and manufacture fully equipped aerostructures, while illustrating our capability to deliver on time, which is a priority for the company”.
The first BelugaXL will enter service in 2019, and will gradually be joined by four other aircraft, which will finally replace the current fleet of five BelugaSTs.
Derived from the Airbus A330-200, the BelugaXL has a payload capacity of 4 tonnes more than the BelugaST, with an additional 6 meters length and a fuselage diameter 1 meter larger.