The first cut of the Beluga XL MSN001 rear fuselage has been successfully achieved in Spain, paving the way for the final assembly to begin in early 2017. MSN001 will be the first Beluga XL to fly.The rear fuselage, produced by Aernnova, will be the first part to be delivered to the Beluga Final Assembly Line in Toulouse. The Beluga XL entry into service is planned in mid-2019.
The Beluga XL was launched in November 2014 to address the transport capacity requirements in view of the A350 XWB ramp-up and other aircraft production rate increases. Based on the A330-200 Freighter with a large re-use of existing components and equipment, the Beluga XL will be powered with Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines. The fleet of five Beluga XL aircraft will provide Airbus with an additional 30 percent extra transport capacity.