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?