The name Beluga is a type of white whale and if you see the flying machine which took its first flight on 19th July from Toulouse Airport in France, it actually resembles a whale that can fly! This is the motivation behind why this goliath plane is nicknamed “the whale of the sky.”

The officials got authorisation to promote the Beluga series after a successful drill. The group trusts that the BelugaXL will be completely operational and open for public use by mid-2019. The front of the airplane resembles a grinning whale. Moreover, it also has an additional air pocket which gives a more familiar look.


The engineers at Airbus got motivation from a whale. This is  a result of the relative straightforwardness with which it moves submerged in water even while measuring tons and having an expansive body. Therefore, they fused the whale’s body structure and ran aerodynamics simulations.


Getting into the specs and the designing, Airbus picked the structure of whale thinking about the streamlined features. Fundamentally, the specialists needed to make a shape that would effectively coast through the thick air around it. This is because the faster an object moves, the harder it gets the chance to travel through air.

Result? A gigantic flying machine that is 19 metres tall. That is as big as a three-storey house weighing 227 tons. However, it can carry 53 tons away from the ground effortlessly!

BelugaST vs BelugaXL

The BelugaXL succeeds the BelugaST line which had a 30% lesser capacity.

Airbus trusts that the BelugaXL will overtake the entire Beluga ST line by 2025. With regards to the general measurements of the BelugaXL, the monstrous flying machine is 63.1m-long and 18.9m-high with a wingspan of 60.3m. This monstrous ‘whale’ of an airplane is powered by Rolls Royce Trent 700 turbofan motors which cost only $690 million each. The huge plane looks like it requires an army to fly, however, 3 pilots suffice.

Airbus plans to construct 5 more such planes from 11 different destinations. However, the present one is yet to undergo 600 long periods of flight tests.  Subsequently, it will carry larger than life airplane parts on going into real service.


By Abhishek Aggarwal

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