Beluga-shaped Cargo Plane in France is the Cutest, Eye-catching Air Transportation in History!

When it comes to the underwater world, people like encountering Beluga whales while on a sight-seeing trip in the wide ocean. These beautiful beings of the sea are nicknamed “Sea Canary” due to their captivating whale calls. While the humans enjoy the wonders of the underwater world even from a tourist boat, beluga whales nearby love to interact with them.

People are accustomed to seeing Beluga whales swimming freely in the ocean. However, they marveled at seeing an airbus shaped like a friendly whale flying in the sky. When the Beluga Airbus made its maiden flight, many people gathered at the runway to witness the new wonder in the sky!

In 2018, European Airlines launched the Airbus Beluga XL in France. The plane’s pointed head, where the cockpit is located, and its round frame perfectly resembled a Beluga whale when the original model was released. Local and foreign media rated it as “the cutest airplane in history”, and the public agreed.

Before its release, the airline employees voted for possible animal designs, and the Beluga whale garnered only 40% of the votes. However, the staff agreed to proceed with the design. The body of the plane was modified from an “Airbus A330”, and a large Beluga head was added to the nose of the aircraft near the cockpit.

The eyes of the whale were painted on each side, and the plane’s logo was placed on both sides near the empennage. The plane is as tall as a 3-storey building. It weighs 125 metric tons and can accommodate 51 metric tons of cargo. The Beluga Airbus XL is one of the largest in the world, and its size is similar to a gigantic whale. The aircraft is nicknamed “the whale in the sky”.

The Beluga Airbus XL made its maiden flight from France on July 1, 2018. A large group of people gathered at the airport to witness its first “voyage”. They captured its historic flight on video using their mobile phones.

After its first official voyage, the Beluga Airbus XL must pass a 10-month flight test before it can be used officially. However, the aircraft is not open for commercial use, and its only responsibility is to transport supplies across Europe. The Beluga cargo aircraft was designed for its head to open, which is very convenient for loading and unloading supplies.

By 2023, the Airbus company plans to build 5 identical Beluga cargo planes, including the original model. Bertrand George, the Planning Director, said: “Children love this aircraft, and I think it can be used as a representative aircraft for our company.”

Although there are no plans yet to release an aircraft model for commercial use, suggestions claim it may still be open to passengers in the future. Eager witnesses want to have the opportunity to fly the skies in a Beluga-designed aircraft. I hope they release it worldwide, too.

On February 20, 2024, news was released that the Beluga super transport aircraft model A300-600ST flew to Taiwan on the 19th at 10:00 PM. The aircraft’s appearance was similar to the original Beluga Airbus XL. However, it was not the latest model. Although the plane arrived late in the evening, many aviation enthusiasts still flocked to the airport to marvel at its beauty. The airbus landed briefly in Taiwan for refueling and transported supplies from the TSMC Company.

A300-600ST Airbus arrived in Taiwan:

The Airbus A300-600ST has been transporting supplies for many years. It will serve alongside the new Beluga Airbus XL for some time before it retires from its voyages in 2025. The latest models of the Beluga aircraft will officially replace the A300-600ST airbus.

Images credits: © Airbus/YouTube

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About the Author: Ria P. Jacinto

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