Airbus has released a photo of the first Beluga XL on the Toulouse Final Assembly Line.
The aircraft’s tail section, including the horizontal and vertical tailpllanes and the tailcone, have been installed.
Attachment of the main cargo door is due to begin and Airbus has launched electrical and mechanical systems installation in readiness for electrical power-on at the end of the year and ground tests early in 2018.
The first Beluga XL is scheduled to fly in Q3 2018, ahead of a ten-month flight test certification campaign.
The initial aircraft is the only Beluga XL which will take part in this campaign and so it is being equipped with full flight-test instrumentation.
The Beluga XL, derived from the A330-200F, is Airbus new in-house transport aircraft. Five Beluga XLs will take over transporting complete sections of Airbus aircraft among the company’s production sites around Europe
Integration work will start soon on the second aircraft.