Airbus’ giant new transporter, the Beluga XL will be flying into Hawarden Airport for the first time this afternoon (3.30pm, 14th February 2019).
The Beluga XL is visiting the Airbus factory in Broughton, North Wales, which assembles wings for the entire family of Airbus aircraft.
Its arrival comes as news of the firm’s decision to quit production of the A380 passenger aircraft was also announced today.
The Beluga XL (which, as it name suggests, has a greater capacity than its predecessor) provides a key advantage for the aeroplane manufacturer as it can carry two A350 XWB wings. The current Beluga can only carry one.
The Beluga aircraft are used to transport the wings from Broughton in the UK to the company’s final assembly line in Toulouse, France.
From mid-2019, the Beluga XL will gradually replace the existing five-member Beluga ST fleet.
There will be another chance to see the aircraft at the weekend, as Phil McGraa explained to enthusiasts.
Phil, who is Airbus’ community relations officer, posted on the Hawarden Airport EGNR Facebook page: “The aircraft is due to take off from Hawarden on Saturday around lunchtime (time again subject to change).”