airboeingbus
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What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:27 pm

So, the Beluga XL project is quite far in its development and the first structures are being assembled. Once these planes replace the existing fleet of Beluga's what will happen to them? Scrapped?, Museum? or do you think a cargo operator will buy them and use them possibly? I know they've done some charter work before, it would be great to see them find another use.
 
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N14AZ
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:41 pm

True, but I guess they won’t have enough life in their bones after all these years flying between Airbus‘ production facilities.
 
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acreinholz
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:43 pm

N14AZ wrote:
True, but I guess they won’t have enough life in their bones after all these years flying between Airbus‘ production facilities.


You think they went through more wear and tear than the russian Antonov???

I would imagine they could still go long ways...
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flyingclrs727
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:45 pm

They aren't going to retire the A300 Belugas till 2025. I wonder if NASA would be interested in one to replace the Super Guppy Airbus gave them when Airbus retired the Super Guppy fleet?
 
mullac30
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:46 pm

They could transfer them to the CSALP program for flying parts between Canada and Mobile.
 
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Polot
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:52 pm

acreinholz wrote:
N14AZ wrote:
True, but I guess they won’t have enough life in their bones after all these years flying between Airbus‘ production facilities.


You think they went through more wear and tear than the russian Antonov???

I would imagine they could still go long ways...

The Antonovs were designed from the beginning to be heavy lifters. The Belugas in the end are still just modified A300s.

When retired they would have spent ~30 years shuttling parts all around Europe. That would be a good life for them.
Last edited by Polot on Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Arion640
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:52 pm

I would of thought at least 1 would end up in a museum.
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:52 pm

I get the feeling that by the time they're retired they will essentially be run out. Airbus run them pretty hard. And while the cargo cabin is unpressurized that's still a lot of cycles over a fair few decades of work.

Someone might try to buy one or two but I imagine they'll just be scrapped. Maybe one for a museum as it's a pretty distinctive plane.
 
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:53 pm

N14AZ wrote:
True, but I guess they won’t have enough life in their bones after all these years flying between Airbus‘ production facilities.


Remember cargo hold is unpressurized. The only part that is pressurized is the cockpit, so there's much less metal to fatigue that needs repair due to cycles. I'm guessing the main issue is that they will be more expensive to maintain due to retirements of A300F fleets. As the demand for spare parts decreases, the cost of building spares for the remaining A300's will go up. By 2025, the Beluga fleet will be 27 years old.
 
HHScot
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:58 pm

Since they are operated under experimental certification I don't think, even if they had life left in them, that anyone else would be able to operate them commercially. Right?

I think they will end up in museums as they are historically important. Without them Airbus could not have grown to the size it is today.
 
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acreinholz
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:04 pm

HHScot wrote:
Since they are operated under experimental certification I don't think, even if they had life left in them, that anyone else would be able to operate them commercially. Right?

I think they will end up in museums as they are historically important. Without them Airbus could not have grown to the size it is today.


That is a good point...
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Stitch
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:05 pm

HHScot wrote:
Since they are operated under experimental certification I don't think, even if they had life left in them, that anyone else would be able to operate them commercially. Right?


The A300-600ST are under a Restricted Type Certificate ( https://www.easa.europa.eu/sites/defaul ... Issue6.pdf ) as they are designed for hauling large aircraft parts. As such, it is unlikely any other operator would be interested in the frames.
 
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:19 pm

Shipped off to aquariums or water parks where they’ll do backflips for cargo.
 
Aerlingus330neo
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:07 am

I always thought the Belugas were technically still test aircraft and never received type certification and can’t be sold for private use.
 
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:18 am

Arion640 wrote:
I would of thought at least 1 would end up in a museum.

One of them could BE a museum, with all that space inside.
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:28 am

I always found it interesting that the Beluga, the Dreamlifter and, I believe, the AN-124 were not pressurized or minimally pressurized. An unpressurized flight on the C-5 required Lockheed approval, a reason for it (not repairable in place) and counted as several cycles. The fuselage gained strength by being under pressure.

Any thoughts?


GF
 
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hongkongflyer
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:54 am

HHScot wrote:
Since they are operated under experimental certification I don't think, even if they had life left in them, that anyone else would be able to operate them commercially. Right?

I think they will end up in museums as they are historically important. Without them Airbus could not have grown to the size it is today.


Yes I think so. May be one or two to museum and one or two to NASA if they really need it.
But no way for them to for commercial airline.
 
opticalilyushin
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:17 am

Airbus has a backlog of parts that need to be flown, I was recently at the wings factory, and there were multiple completed sets of wings just sitting and waiting..the A36Ts won't be going anywhere else for a while
 
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zeke
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:32 am

acreinholz wrote:

You think they went through more wear and tear than the russian Antonov???

I would imagine they could still go long ways...


Military cargo lifters are actually designed for a very low design life, the A300-STs would have does that design life many times over. They are well utilised.
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zeke
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:37 am

Aerlingus330neo wrote:
I always thought the Belugas were technically still test aircraft and never received type certification and can’t be sold for private use.


They have a restricted type certificate and operated on a restricted air operators certificate (AOC). This is common for any EASA certified aircraft that has been modified for special purposes like agricultural spraying, airborne sensing, and oversize cargo in the case of the A300-ST.

They are not test aircraft they are fully certified fir commercial operations under a restricted AOC.
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:49 am

Remember, the Guppies, Beluga and LCF are all specially built aircraft with oversize fuselages to accommodate relatively light large loads, they are not heavy lifters. They won't lift much more weight than the B377, A300 and B744 they were modified from. They weren't meant for commercial sale but like the Guppy the Beluga may find a long life as a special use aircraft. The LCF will probably remain dedicated to Boeing while the 787 is in production.
 
mjoelnir
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:45 am

I assume that we could see a Beluga used for other transports, like for NASA, perhaps the Ariane, but I assume the most likely will be one or two for a museum and the rest being scrapped.
Today this frames are on average 21 years old. They are used comparable to a short range narrow body on several flights a day, around 18 hours usage during each working day and see also use during the weekend. They will be very high in cycles when they are wfu in 2025, than about 28 years old.
 
r2rho
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:04 pm

I would assume there is space reserved for one at the new Aeroscopia museum un TLS. It would be nice to see the others displayed in some way around the other Airbus sites. They have become a popular sight, immmediately recognizable by all people in all cities hosting an Airbus site, an are in a way a symbol of European integration and cooperation. One should be exhibited in each of the 4 original Airbus countries.

As others have said they are heavily used, and not suitable for other operators. Their scrap value should be minimal too.
 
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:40 pm

HHScot wrote:
Since they are operated under experimental certification I don't think, even if they had life left in them, that anyone else would be able to operate them commercially. Right?

I think they will end up in museums as they are historically important. Without them Airbus could not have grown to the size it is today.


I think they could operate much as they do today where the "side" work is for governments. However, I doubt they will as it would be better to use the new ones, and if need be get permission to do a larger fleet of them.
 
VSMUT
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:53 pm

It's almost guaranteed that these 5 will go to various museums. One to the Aeroscopia in Toulouse, another to the museum in Le Bourget, and various German museums will almost certainly account for another 2. I doubt they will have a hard time placing all 5.

They won't be worth anything as scrap anyway, being highly unique versions of an already outdated type.
 
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Polot
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:04 pm

slcguy wrote:
Remember, the Guppies, Beluga and LCF are all specially built aircraft with oversize fuselages to accommodate relatively light large loads, they are not heavy lifters. They won't lift much more weight than the B377, A300 and B744 they were modified from. They weren't meant for commercial sale but like the Guppy the Beluga may find a long life as a special use aircraft. The LCF will probably remain dedicated to Boeing while the 787 is in production.

Boeing is actually the only one allowed to use the LCF and can only carry cargo to support their corporate line of business. In other words, no chartering it out like I believe Airbus occasionally does with the Belugas. It’s all written out in the 747 type certificate.
 
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neutrino
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:07 pm

One or two can possibly end up in China as restaurant/hotel, either as standalone or in a theme park.
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Revelation
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:05 pm

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ice-446940 tells us their future is TBD:

Airbus aims to have all five XLs in service by mid-2022. The future for the A300-600STs has yet to be determined.

"They are very young," says BelugaXL programme chief Bertrand George. "We're working actively to find them a new life."

The comment suggests they aren't just going to get parked in museums.

Also gives us a nice picture of the Airbus version of the "pickle" (nickname for Dreamlifter):

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crimsonchin
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:01 pm

Revelation wrote:

Also gives us a nice picture of the Airbus version of the "pickle" (nickname for Dreamlifter):

Image


The plane actually has its own name.
 
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:13 pm

DarthLobster wrote:
Shipped off to aquariums or water parks where they’ll do backflips for cargo.


nice image.
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N353SK
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:18 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
I always found it interesting that the Beluga, the Dreamlifter and, I believe, the AN-124 were not pressurized or minimally pressurized. An unpressurized flight on the C-5 required Lockheed approval, a reason for it (not repairable in place) and counted as several cycles. The fuselage gained strength by being under pressure.

Any thoughts?


GF



Total wild guess, but perhaps the Beluga / Dreamlifter were designed with extra fortifications in the fuselage as they were intended to regularly fly with an unpressurized hold?
 
airboeingbus
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:40 am

Revelation wrote:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/pictures-second-belugaxl-will-be-first-into-service-446940 tells us their future is TBD:

Airbus aims to have all five XLs in service by mid-2022. The future for the A300-600STs has yet to be determined.

"They are very young," says BelugaXL programme chief Bertrand George. "We're working actively to find them a new life."

The comment suggests they aren't just going to get parked in museums.

Also gives us a nice picture of the Airbus version of the "pickle" (nickname for Dreamlifter):

Image



Interesting! I wonder if he meant a new life within airbus or externally? Also can a beluga transport a large turbofan like a GE90, I know it'll fit in but is the weight to much?
 
Viper911
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:06 am

Well since at least one "Guppy" is preserved in a museum i might assume, someone will preserve one Beluga once they will be retired.

Viper911
 
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:30 am

Artificial diving reef?
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:24 am

Arion640 wrote:
I would of thought at least 1 would end up in a museum.


I agree. It would make a nice addition to Aeroscopia in Toulouse next to the Supper Guppy.
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OA940
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:47 am

Probably a few will be scrapped. I can't imagine one not going to a museum.
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r2rho
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:37 am

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ice-446940 tells us their future is TBD:

Airbus aims to have all five XLs in service by mid-2022. The future for the A300-600STs has yet to be determined.

"They are very young," says BelugaXL programme chief Bertrand George. "We're working actively to find them a new life."

The comment suggests they aren't just going to get parked in museums.

This doesn't make sense and/or Airbus would seem to be contradicting themselves. I thought that due to their heavily increased utilization over the past years, they would be reaching the end of their lives. That was supposed to be the (internal) "business case" for the XL? If the old Belugas still have life, why not keep them around, specially for the announced A320 ramp-up?
So, would the business case for the XL "only" be that the old Belugas cannot sufficiently support production ramp-up, and not that they were getting old?
 
diverted
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:59 am

r2rho wrote:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ice-446940 tells us their future is TBD:

Airbus aims to have all five XLs in service by mid-2022. The future for the A300-600STs has yet to be determined.

"They are very young," says BelugaXL programme chief Bertrand George. "We're working actively to find them a new life."

The comment suggests they aren't just going to get parked in museums.

This doesn't make sense and/or Airbus would seem to be contradicting themselves. I thought that due to their heavily increased utilization over the past years, they would be reaching the end of their lives. That was supposed to be the (internal) "business case" for the XL? If the old Belugas still have life, why not keep them around, specially for the announced A320 ramp-up?
So, would the business case for the XL "only" be that the old Belugas cannot sufficiently support production ramp-up, and not that they were getting old?


That's the way I read it - That the current Beluga's have plenty of life, but with additional demand for lift, Airbus decided it was best to do the A330 Beluga. I imagine they will take over the core work, leaving the A300's as additional peak lift, additional charter availability, etc. Per wiki, in 2012 the fleet was doing 5000 hrs yearly, by 2017 Airbus expected that to double.
In 2013, the five original Belugas could not cope with production growth and Airbus evaluated the Antonov An-124 and An-225, Boeing C-17 or Dreamlifter, and A400M before choosing to modify one of its own.[5] The program was launched in November 2014 to build five aircraft to replace the existing five Belugas, the design freeze was announced on 16 September 2015.[2]

Fleet[edit]
The existing Belugas will not be withdrawn from service when the Beluga XL is introduced ; a mixed fleet is to operate for at least five years as the increased production rate of single-aisle aircraft requires the ability to move more parts.[3] The current Beluga fleet flew more than 8000 hours in 2017, doubled from 2014, but the five Beluga fleet is only at its half-life: another operator could use them for civil or military logistic applications.[6]

The Beluga fleet will rise to eight when three XLs will be delivered as the five originals stay in service before being withdrawn from 2021. The original Beluga fleet is reaching its limits, flying five times daily and six days per week: 10,000h in 2017 while some parts move on the surface. An original Beluga takes triple the time to move the A330 parts compared to the parts of an A320, climbing to nine times for the A350 parts.[4]
(Source: Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_Beluga_XL )

Further to that - The A300 Beluga can fit 1 A350 wing, the 330 Beluga will be able to carry 2
 
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Revelation
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:11 pm

r2rho wrote:
So, would the business case for the XL "only" be that the old Belugas cannot sufficiently support production ramp-up, and not that they were getting old?

Seems to be the case. In particular putting two A350 wings in one Beluga XL and thus cutting the number of trips in half is compelling in so many ways.
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flee
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:14 pm

Perhaps, with the XL, Airbus can divide the workload so that the ST transports mostly narrowbody parts while the XL transports mostly widebody parts? However, the logistics will be complicated by having two types of Beluga.
 
r2rho
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Re: What Will Happen To the Airbus Beluga's After Replacement

Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:08 pm

Perhaps, with the XL, Airbus can divide the workload so that the ST transports mostly narrowbody parts while the XL transports mostly widebody parts?

This would make sense. The current Beluga is suboptimal for A350 parts (and possibly also A330NEO's larger wing?, but works well for A320. The "classic" Beluga fleet is quite busy as it is, and single aisle production will increase... the XL's taking over the A350/A330 work would free up "classic" Belugas for more A320 work.

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