Big news from Airbus and Airlander
Beluga XL, an integral part of Airbus’ industrial system, made its first operational flight on 9 January 2020. This is the first of six units to replace the Beluga ST predecessors until 2023. At 63 m long and 8 m wide, it has the largest cargo bay cross-section of all existing cargo aircraft worldwide, can carry two A350 XWB wings and has a maximum payload of 51 t and a range of 4,000 km.
Meanwhile in the UK, Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) has revealed the production Airlander 10. The updated aircraft has a fuel-saving, lower-drag shape, an enhanced landing gear, a wider, longer cabin for passengers, cargo and equipment and other refinements, providing more flexibility.
HAV is currently in contract negotiations for the first four production slots with organisations in the tourism and clean technology sectors. (ah)