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Airbus' Beluga: Inside the world's strangest-looking airplane

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If you ever find yourself in the French city of Toulouse, you might just see one of the oddest-looking aircraft in the world. Popularly known as the "Beluga," because of its strong resemblance to the white Arctic whale, the Airbus A300-600ST (ST stands for Super Transporter) is unique not only in appearance, but also for the essential role it performs in European aviation. ( المزيد...

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chalet 1
The Ruskies have been flying around the entire world for several years now the monster Antonov An-124 with a useful load of more than half-a-million-pounds and the even bigger monstruosity the Antonov An-225 with a useful load of about 800,000 pounds (only one built so far). They are transporting all kinds of hardware for the U.S. Armed Forces all the time, ditto for certain armies in Europe and civilans shippers too. The French being what they are built this Beluga contraption on an awful diet of steroids and costing far more to carry cargo around than those Russian whales charge, but no.
Ric Wernicke -4
Airbus needs to stop fooling around with their own oversize transporter. They should get a fleet of Dreamlifters. This will allow them to keep their logistics chain intact. We already know the cargo handing and short field performance is unsurpassed.
siriusloon 4
They're not "fooling around" with the Beluga, they use the fleet on a regular basis, so much so that they're going to replace them with an A330-based version. They don't need Dreamlifters, which were made for one specific purpose: the transport of 787 components. Perhaps you haven't noticed that Airbus has other needs?

Airbus has also chartered its Belugas on occasion because they can handle over-sized cargo. Boeing's Dreamlifters are paired with specific load-unload vehicles that are located at the factories that produce the components the aircraft carry to the final assembly lines and their smaller fleet has no excess capacity available for charter.

It's interesting that in addition to singing the praises of the Dreamlifter, you make snide remarks about their operation. Are you sure that the Beluga couldn't have flown off a short runway like that, too? Perahps it wouldn't have landed there in the first place.

I happen to prefer Boeing to Airbus, but I also prefer common sense and factual information to nonsense.
PhotoFinish -2
"[Dreamlifter's] smaller fleet has no excess capacity available for charter."

They need a bigger fleet. May need to see how the 777X program shakes out and what that programs additional transport needs are befits they expand their fleet. But yes, there is/will ve a need to expand their transport capabilities too.
Jose Ribeiro 1
Ric, you are one pompous idiot!! Pull your head out of your yankee a@@ and see that there is life outside of the USA!
Ric Wernicke -1
Don't attack the messenger if you don't like the message. I would invite you notice the innovation and superior quality of American aircraft and way of life. That is the reason "life outside of the USA!" wants to come here.
kev wu -1
Except for the fact a misunderstanding caused the Dreamlifter to land at the wrong airport in
Jim Anderson 8
And this is the airframe's fault, how?
kev wu -1
I'd thought I would just point that out
Jim Anderson -1
Great. You pointed it out. Why? How does this reflect on the topic?
kev wu -1
It came up when I saw the first comment
joel wiley 4
Thus demonstrating short field capabilities..... LOL

On the airbus cockpit photo- couldn't find the famous AB joystick control.
microwalda 4
Don't look for it, you won't find it.
The Airbus Beluga is based on the A300-600 which doesn't have a sidestick, it's not even a fly-by-wire aircraft.
chalet 1
No, it was Bush´s fault (LIMAO!!!)
Maybe they can sell it to Delta or AA or United for long haul service between those east coast powerhouses of commute.

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