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Will The Beluga Die Off?

Sun Nov 06, 2005 3:23 am

Before anyone screams that this topic is already on the message board, I need to add that I ALREADY searched the archived section. There was nothing there similar to the topic I'm discussing.

Does anyone have any proof if the Beluga will be upgraded or has the A380 program killed it off? I looked carefully at pictures of both and, in my opinion, there is still a big difference: the Beluga has a larger diameter cargo bay compared to the A380. It could transport items such as massive paintings (which I'm sure it has done in the past). I haven't seen any pictures of cargo A380s for Fedex yet. Are those not under construction yet? Transporting something like another plane's fuselage section is something that the Beluga is capable of. But what about the A380? Will the cargo version have the second floor removed or will that compromise the stability of the airplane's frame? Let's suppose the A380 has a greater range between refueling points from LAX to LHR. Will this be a severe blow to the Beluga's chances of being replaced by a larger Beluga in the future? Or will Airbus simply upgrade the engines and stretch the fuselage some more? BTW, does the cargo A380 carry more than the Antonov AN225?
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RE: Will The Beluga Die Off?

Sun Nov 06, 2005 4:44 am

Why would the Beluga be killed off by the advent of the A380? The A380F has no outsized cargo capability whatsoever. Even the advent of the B747F in the seventies, which did have an outsized capability thru the nose door, did not spell the end for the Super Guppies (Based on the Boeing Stratocruiser).
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
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RE: Will The Beluga Die Off?

Sun Nov 06, 2005 5:32 am

The A300-600ST Beluga was specifically designed and constructed by Airbus to move aircraft sections around Europe from its existing production sites.

    The A380 could not perform this role without
  • Major modifications to the runways, taxiways, etc. at these sites.

    Look at the issues Airbus is having in Hamburg trying to get a runway extension there for the A380s, despite already having the other facilities in place.

    Other sites may not be able to expand without huge investment, not maybe not able to expand at all.

    The runway at Hawarden/Broughton, where all Airbus wings come from, has already been extended once to accommodate the existing Beluga. A road is at one end, a railway line at the other, and the site is on soft ground due to the proximity of the River Dee (so deep foundations may be required for supporting the extra weight of an A380).

  • Major modifications to the A380's design

    The usable height within the Beluga is greater than within the A380. Removing the floor for the upper deck may not be possible or if it is possible, significant strengthening of the remaining structure would be required. The diameter of the Beluga's cargo bay is also greater than that of the A380 and cannot accommodate an A380 wing - so the hypothetical 'A380 Beluga' would need to be even wider.

    How would the cargo be put inside? If a similar arrangement to the Beluga was to be used, then the cockpit would need re-positioning as well. If tail loading was to be used, then a swing tail would have to be incorporated.

The A380 components are the only ones that cannot be accommodated in the Beluga. The financial outlay that Airbus would have to make in order to develop a new Beluga capable of carrying the A380 components is probably not worth it when you consider that the A380 will not be produced at high rates.

The complex transport arrangements for the A380 are probably more cost-effective. If they weren't then maybe Airbus would have developed a new 'A380 Beluga' instead of purchasing ships and road transporters.
7late7, A3latey, Sukhoi Superlate... what's going on?
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RE: Will The Beluga Die Off?

Sun Nov 06, 2005 5:33 am

Quoting EGNR (Reply 2):
Removing the floor for the upper deck may not be possible or if it is possible, significant strengthening of the remaining structure would be required.

It isn't.

The floor is a key part of the A380's structure. It couldn't hold its shape otherwise.

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RE: Will The Beluga Die Off?

Sun Nov 06, 2005 5:43 am

Quoting Swisskloten (Thread starter):
Will The Beluga Die Off?

Yes, if they keep fishing it like that for the caviar, they'll die off. Apparently the Beluga stocks are already very low and there's basically nobody regulating how many fishes they're taking out of the lake. It's a sad day when we'll no longer have real Beluga caviar.

Oh, wait, you're talking about the plane?  Wow!

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