Airbus A300-600ST or Beluga is a version of the standard A300-600 wide-body airliner modified to carry aircraft parts and outsize cargo. Photo: twitter
Hyderabad: Airbus Beluga, the world’s largest aircraft, landed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) in Mumbai on Tuesday. Hailed as the super transporter, the aircraft left scores of people awestruck as it touched base in India for the first time.
Airbus A300-600ST or Beluga is a version of the standard A300-600 wide-body airliner modified to carry aircraft parts and outsize cargo.
It received the official name of Super Transporter early on; however, the name Beluga, a whale it resembles, gained popularity and has since been officially adopted.
It became an object of curiosity due to its sheer shape and size. Handled by a commercial service provided by the European company Airbus, its replacement, the BelugaXL, entered service in January 2020.
The aircraft is at a height of 17.24 metres and a length of 56.15 metres, while the wing span is a stunning 44.84 metres.
Belugas are capable of handling cargo of up to 7.1m in width and 6.7m in height and possess “the world’s largest interior cross-section of any transport aircraft”. The aircraft can carry 47,000 kg of cargo, the most voluminous hold for any civil or military plane flying today.
From transporting the Eutelsat W3A satellite to the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site in Kazakhstan to delivering a new satellite to Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, United States, it has carried large and delicate space systems several times.