Beluga ‘whale’ plane arrives in Brazil on the aircraft’s first trip to the country

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Beluga ‘whale’ plane arrives in Brazil on the aircraft’s first trip to the country

The “whale” plane, the Airbus A300-600ST, landed in Brazil this Sunday (24), for the first time in history.

The Beluga ST came from France with a technical stop in Senegal, the arrival at Pinto Martins International Airport, in Fortaleza (CE), took place at 15:24 this Sunday.

The special plane, registration F-GSTB, will spend the night in Fortaleza and is scheduled to take off at noon on Monday (25), which is yet to be confirmed.

The landing will be at Viracopos International Airport, in Campinas (SP), where a modern ACH160 helicopter that the manufacturer Airbus is delivering to a Brazilian customer will be unloaded.

Afterwards, the departure from Campinas to return to Europe, with another technical stop in Fortaleza, is scheduled to take place only in the late afternoon of the following day, Tuesday (26).

The Beluga is a model developed from the Airbus A300-600, modified with the installation of a much larger fuselage structure. Only five of them were produced during the 1990s.

The adaptation aimed to transport super-voluminous loads, but specifically restricted to Airbus’ own aircraft parts, such as the A320 fuselages or the wings of the giant A380, between its production units spread across Europe.

However, in recent years the European manufacturer has launched the new and larger BelugaXL, based on the A330-200. With this, the old Belugas are being used in a new subsidiary of Airbus, with its own air carrier certificate to operate commercial services, effectively becoming an airline.

Airbus highlights that the Beluga can carry any load that is up to seven meters wide and 6.7 meters high, without needing any transport adaptations. The manufacturer also announced that the new BelugaXL will soon be available for this same type of transport.

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