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Airbus points to lower-weight variant of BelugaXL

Airbus technical data on the new BelugaXL logistics transport shows that the aircraft is being developed with two weight variants.

While the initial version will have a maximum take-off weight of 227t, the airframer’s newly-published technical details identify a second version with a lighter MTOW of 205t.

Both would have a maximum payload of around 50.5t, an operating weight empty of 127.5t, and a maximum zero-fuel weight of 178t.

The BelugaXL is based on the A330 and is formally designated the A330-700L.

Airbus is building five of the Rolls-Royce Trent 700-powered aircraft to replace its current fleet of A300-600ST, which are used to transport structural sections and wings to its assembly plants.

The technical document shows the layout of the four-seat courier area, aft of the cockpit, which has been designed for the BelugaXL. It comprises three seats on the right-hand side, and one on the left, either side of the cargo access point and an underside belly door.

Designed to carry pairs of A350 wings, the main-deck hold is 46.56m in length, with a 41.16m rollertrack. The BelugaXL also has an aft lower-deck freight compartment, capable of taking 14 LD3 containers, as well as a bulk cargo compartment behind it.

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