Malibu/Mirage Owners and Pilots Association

PICTURE: Airbus attaches first Beluga XL freight door

Airbus has installed the main freight door on the first example of its new Beluga XL outsize transport.

The airframer disclosed in September that it had received the door, which has been produced by Stelia Aerospace.

Airbus has released images of the 3.1t door being fitted to the upper forward fuselage of the Beluga XL. The aircraft, based on the Airbus A330, is being developed to replace the A300-600ST fleet.

Like the similar door on the -600ST the XL’s will be able to open to enable forward-loading of large structures including wings for the Airbus A350 programme.

Airbus intends to conduct the XL’s maiden flight in the third quarter of next year.