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KarelXWB
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Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:54 pm

Speculated many times before and now finally official: Airbus will develop a new Beluga fleet based on the A330. Main goal is to support the A350 production rampup; the new Beluga will see a fleet of five aircraft and will enter service in mid-2019.

Quote:
To industrially accompany the A350 XWB ramp-up and other aircraft production rate increases, Airbus took the decision to launch the development and production of five new Belugas.

The new Beluga will be based on the A330 with a large re-use of existing components and equipment. The distinctive looking lowered cockpit, the cargo bay structure and the rear-end and tail will be amongst the items which will be newly developed.

The first of the five new Belugas will enter in service in mid-2019. The existing Beluga fleet will operate in parallel, and will be progressively retired through to 2025.

Source
http://www.airbus.com/newsevents/new...oversize-air-transport-capability/
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:00 pm

Interesting. Will it be based on the -200 or -300? Perhaps something in between?
 
ap305
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:02 pm

Great news... Perhaps a substantial boost for a350 production towards the end of the decade is possible.
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:10 pm

Quoting SpaceshipDC10 (Reply 1):
Interesting. Will it be based on the -200 or -300? Perhaps something in between?

I would expect it to be the A330-200 for performance reasons out of Brighton. The A330-200 is longer than the A300-600 used as the basis for the current SuperTransporter fleets and Airbus already has a freighter conversion program in place for that model.
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:11 pm

Anyone think that the NEO wing extension can make the A330-300XL Broughton capable ?

[Edited 2014-11-17 06:35:16]
 
LH422
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:12 pm

Quoting SpaceshipDC10 (Reply 1):
Interesting. Will it be based on the -200 or -300? Perhaps something in between?

I believe it was A330-200. I was still hoping for an A340-500 as base but that didn't seem to fit as well. Unfortunately, the document with the decision matrix is not available here anymore:

Airbus To Launch New Gen Beluga Soon? (by queb Feb 6 2013 in Civil Aviation)
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:23 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
I would expect it to be the A330-200 for performance reasons out of Brighton.

Broughton, surely..!  

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B8887
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:41 pm

Good news.

Engine selection?...

B8887
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:44 pm

At last, the long-awaited confirmation of a very old rumor!
It was clear that with the current Beluga fleet being very busy despite recent increase in flight hours, and more production ramp-up coming, something had to be done. I'm amazed the current Belugas will still soldier on until 2025, what a workhorse.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
I would expect it to be the A330-200 for performance reasons out of Brighton.

Correct, IIRC from that old chart, the -200 was the only suitable candidate. A333 and even A340 were deemed suitable as platforms but failed in the Broughton test. Still, I can't believe they couldn't add another few hundred meters to that tiny runway... but these then again, these things are not easy in the UK...
 
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KarelXWB
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:48 pm

Quoting LH422 (Reply 5):
Unfortunately, the document with the decision matrix is not available here anymore:

I have it on my disk, I can upload it if you wish?
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:04 pm

Will these be new-build A330s or conversions of existing frames?

Given the EIS date, I can see these being amongst the last A330ceo frames of the production line. I'm assuming Airbus wouldn't want to take A330neo slots away from customers.
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:27 pm

Quoting LH422 (Reply 5):
. I was still hoping for an A340-500 as base but that didn't seem to fit as well.

That would have been nice but maybe they ruled it out as too expensive, especially if we account for the enormous progress the A330 airframe has made over the years. It probably would have been "overkill" to use an A340-500 as the base-line model for the new Belugas.
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:58 pm

As I understand it, the common "problem" for the Beluga and the Dreamlifter is that they need to transport large objects, not heavy weight. And for the sake of the Beluga, over not so long distances. So the A330 should be the ideal baseline for this. I guess they will use new-builds rather than convert existing frames. If the baseline model was the A340, they would of course have used existing frames.
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:01 pm

Meh. It'll look pretty darn similar to the A300. I'll be impressed when they have an A380 beluga
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:38 pm

The structural design will mostly be a copy/paste from the Beluga, I guess...

Relocating the cockpit will be even easier with the FBW.

Will they immediately retire the A300 or is there chance they'll fly alongside for a while?
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Revelation
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:38 pm

Quoting 29erUSA187 (Reply 13):
I'll be impressed when they have an A380 beluga

I would not hold my breath if I were you.

Some related threads:

A380 Beluga? (by A380900 Sep 14 2004 in Aviation Polls)

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviatio...general_aviation/read.main/6047069

Airbus To Launch New Gen Beluga Soon? (by queb Feb 6 2013 in Civil Aviation)
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PW100
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:39 pm

Quoting hilram (Reply 12):
And for the sake of the Beluga, over not so long distances

How about Tianjin or Alabama? Not sure if they use (or will be using) air-transport for that though.
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:48 pm

Quoting LH422 (Reply 5):
I was still hoping for an A340-500 as base

I also wanted it to be A340-500 or 600 based, and seeing that they are opening a plant in Alabama, the A345 would have been great for transporting heavy weight parts across the pond.
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:01 pm

Does anyone know how many hours were required for certification of the current Beluga, and how many will be required for the Beluga XL? ? Wonder if it will get the NEO engines?
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:20 pm

Quoting francoflier (Reply 14):
The structural design will mostly be a copy/paste from the Beluga, I guess...

Quite similar but Airbus feasability study shows that the A330 will have a bigger fuselage to allows two A350 wing instead of one for the A300ST.

Orange line = A300ST
Purple line = A330ST

http://i13.servimg.com/u/f13/17/03/84/59/size10.jpg
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:42 pm

Quoting francoflier (Reply 14):
Will they immediately retire the A300 or is there chance they'll fly alongside for a while?

The press release said that both versions will fly alongside until the final A300 beluga is retired in 2025.
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:17 pm

Why do they claim that the Beluga does something unique? The Dreamlifter does the same thing...
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:35 pm

Quoting 14ccKemiskt (Reply 21):
Why do they claim that the Beluga does something unique? The Dreamlifter does the same thing...

According to the picture in queb's reply #19 only Beluga XL has a large enough fuselage to carry out the task (Beluga XL internal height 7.84 m, Dreamlifter 6.86 m).

[Edited 2014-11-17 11:35:58]
 
Unflug
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:45 pm

Quoting 14ccKemiskt (Reply 21):
Why do they claim that the Beluga does something unique? The Dreamlifter does the same thing...

The claim is a bit more specific:

The "Beluga", is Airbus’ unique method for transporting large aircraft components – between company production sites in Europe.

The Belugas and Dreamlifters both offer air-transport for aircraft components, but the way they do it is different:

Airbus' unique method = Beluga
Boeings unique method = Dreamlifter

Can't see anything wrong with that.
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:59 pm

Quoting 14ccKemiskt (Reply 21):

Besides the Beluga being wider and taller (according to the slide) , I think it's about how they can fit bigger pieces rather than massive. If you want to go for massive then the Antonov is your plane but for bigger but not overweight the Beluga is exactly what Airbus needs
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:09 pm

Quoting 747400sp (Reply 17):
I also wanted it to be A340-500 or 600 based, and seeing that they are opening a plant in Alabama, the A345 would have been great for transporting heavy weight parts across the pond.


I thought it was interesting that they have only committed to 5 A330 Belugas, yet the fleet will rise to 10 presumably from 2019 -> 2025, as the A300 fleet is run in parallel. It seems they're leaving options open for the remaining 5.
Down with that sort of thing!
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:09 pm

Quoting Finn350 (Reply 22):
Quoting 14ccKemiskt (Reply 21):
Why do they claim that the Beluga does something unique? The Dreamlifter does the same thing...

According to the picture in queb's reply #19 only Beluga XL has a large enough fuselage to carry out the task (Beluga XL internal height 7.84 m, Dreamlifter 6.86 m).

Obviously because you design the aircraft to fit the task. If the Dreamlifter had needed to carry a bigger payload, the 744 chassis would obviously be more capable than the 330.
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:34 pm

Quoting queb (Reply 19):

Orange line = A300ST
Purple line = A330ST

Interesting to see they are making it larger than the A300 Beluga. Will the new airframe be able to transport a fuselafe with a true 9/10 abreast capability, the same size as the current 777?

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KarelXWB
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:50 pm

Quoting PW100 (Reply 16):
How about Tianjin or Alabama? Not sure if they use (or will be using) air-transport for that though.

A320 fuselage sections for Tianjin and Alabama are (will be) shipped over sea.

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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:01 pm

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 28):
A320 fuselage sections for Tianjin and Alabama are (will be) shipped over sea.

Hopefully at some point Airbus would use the A330 beluga to ship the A320 fuselages (If it has the range that is... but even if it can't make it non-stop, im sure it could do it with at least 1 stop in between).

How many fuselages do they send in one shipment via sea?

Quoting B8887 (Reply 7):
Engine selection?...

I'd be shocked if its anything other than Rolls Royce... I mean its Airbus afterall...

[Edited 2014-11-17 13:08:25]
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:04 pm

This is the equivalent of a car dealership buying his own cars to make the numbers at the end of the month.

Sounds like Airbus just was able to get 5 frames closer to not having to stop production of the A330CEO before they start the A330NEO.

Think they may decide expand the program by 5 more frames if they can't sell enough A330CEO planes.
 
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KarelXWB
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:12 pm

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 29):
Hopefully at some point Airbus would use the A330 beluga to ship the A320 fuselages

Sea shipment is fine as long as production rates are low (4 per month in each assembly line).

Quoting Sharktail (Reply 30):
Sounds like Airbus just was able to get 5 frames closer to not having to stop production of the A330CEO before they start the A330NEO.

Or maybe, just maybe, they need a successor for the Beluga fleet   
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trex8
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:21 pm

Quoting Sharktail (Reply 30):
This is the equivalent of a car dealership buying his own cars to make the numbers at the end of the month.

They are making the a330ceo at 10 /month presently, supposed to go down to 9 ? end 2015, has been several a month below that for most of its production history and you think making another 5(or 10 ) frames is some major event??
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:26 pm

Quoting LH422 (Reply 5):
I was still hoping for an A340-500 as base but that didn't seem to fit as well.
Quoting 747400sp (Reply 17):
the A345 would have been great for transporting heavy weight parts across the pond.

The A345 is the personification of "deadweight," which is why it's practically useless as an airframe for just about any airline's application.

Unless they could find a way to take some serious weight out of that frame, without compromising its lift capability, then that was probably a fiscal non-starter from the jump.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:34 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 10):
Given the EIS date, I can see these being amongst the last A330ceo frames of the production line. I'm assuming Airbus wouldn't want to take A330neo slots away from customers

Sounds like a nice solution to me!
 
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KarelXWB
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:35 pm

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 33):
The A345 is the personification of "deadweight," which is why it's practically useless as an airframe for just about any airline's application.

Unless they could find a way to take some serious weight out of that frame, without compromising its lift capability, then that was probably a fiscal non-starter from the jump.

Apologies, but you are completely wrong here. For short Beluga hops across Europe the A345 airframe would do just fine. It has enough lift and range and was in fact seriously considered.

[Edited 2014-11-17 13:58:02]
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LAX772LR
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:11 pm

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 35):
Sorry, but you are completely wrong here

Oh? Based on what... the plethora of converted A345s hauling freight out there?  

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 35):
the A345 airframe would do just fine

Could it do it? Sure.

Could it do it with superior cost/benefit to essentially any other platform capable of physically completing the task? Probably not. In fact, I'd venture to say "assuredly not"

If you have corroboration to the contrary, I'd sure be interested in seeing it.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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KarelXWB
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:29 pm

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 36):
Oh? Based on what... the plethora of converted A345s hauling freight out there?

Nope, based on official Airbus presentations showing that A340-500XL was part of the new Beluga considerations.

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 36):
Could it do it with superior cost/benefit to essentially any other platform capable of physically completing the task? Probably not. In fact, I'd venture to say "assuredly not"

Operating costs are not the biggest concerns for the Beluga fleet, it's not you daily airline that needs to make a profit.

The A340-500XL was eventually ruled out because the runway in Broughton is not long enough (and cannot be extended), plus the new Beluga buildings currently under construction across Europe cannot fit the aircraft.

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 36):
If you have corroboration to the contrary, I'd sure be interested in seeing it.

Google for the Airbus Beluga presentation from 2012.

[Edited 2014-11-17 14:31:01]
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:40 pm

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 37):
based on official Airbus presentations showing that A340-500XL was part of the new Beluga considerations.

And now it's not.
Big surprise-- said no one.


Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 37):
Operating costs are not the biggest concerns for the Beluga fleet, it's not you daily airline that needs to make a profit.

You are abjectly kidding yourself if you believe, for even an INSTANT, that every consideration of cost (relative to benefit) wasn't factored into their decision.

[Edited 2014-11-17 14:50:49]
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KarelXWB
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:47 pm

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 38):
And now it's not.

But not because of the reasons you have given.

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 38):
You are abjectly kidding yourself if you believe, for even an INSTANT, that every consideration of cost (relative to benefit) wasn't factored into their decision.

The A340-500 was considered from a cost perspective. The A340-600 for example was never an option.
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:55 pm

Quoting 29erUSA187 (Reply 13):
Meh. It'll look pretty darn similar to the A300. I'll be impressed when they have an A380 beluga

The A380 is already a whale... beluga if you like!   

Airbus maybe have something important for the future, maybe fedex,DHL or UPS will buy some A330 belugas as a sublet for big sized items in the future..who knows...

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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:55 pm

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 39):
But not because of the reasons you have given.

So you say, but I've seen no reason whatsoever to believe that that wasn't also a key component of their decision... perhaps even more so than the one they chose to publicly state.

It's an airframe that isn't particularly good at anything, relative to other alternatives, from a cost/benefit basis.

Putting a hump on it and naming it after water mammal, doesn't change that.
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:04 pm

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 35):
Apologies, but you are completely wrong here. For short Beluga hops across Europe the A345 airframe would do just fine. It has enough lift and range and was in fact seriously considered.

A quad will have a lower installed overall thrust and that will impact runway performance (a twin must have 2x the engine-out thrust installed, while a quad only needs 1.33x the engine-out thrust). The runway at Broughton is too short for the A340 to meet those requirements and so it was not selected.
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KarelXWB
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:05 pm

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 41):
perhaps even more so than the one they chose to publicly state.

Apologies, but that sounds like a gut feeling. You will have to give me some actual proof if you want to convince me. I'm open for anything, just show it to me. Until then, I rather like to stick with the public statements (like that official presentation).

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 42):
A quad will have a lower installed overall thrust and that will impact runway performance (a twin must have 2x the engine-out thrust installed, while a quad only needs 1.33x the engine-out thrust). The runway at Broughton is too short for the A340 to meet those requirements and so it was not selected.

That was not the point.

[Edited 2014-11-17 15:06:12]
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:11 pm

Quoting queb (Reply 19):

The C-5 Galaxy is made by Boeing? That's news to me. 
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KarelXWB
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:19 pm

Quoting BaconButty (Reply 25):
I thought it was interesting that they have only committed to 5 A330 Belugas, yet the fleet will rise to 10 presumably from 2019 -> 2025, as the A300 fleet is run in parallel. It seems they're leaving options open for the remaining 5.

The press release says the existing fleet will be progressively retired through to 2025, not in 2025 itself. That doesn't sound like Airbus will operate 10 Beluga's simultaneously.
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:35 pm

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 43):
if you want to convince me.

For which I have no particularly pressing desire to do... you started talking to me on that aspect, not the other way around.  

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. But there's one thing you can't disagree on: there's no A345s flying these things about, and there won't be anyyyyy time soon.

[Edited 2014-11-17 15:43:38]
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:40 pm

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 29):
I'd be shocked if its anything other than Rolls Royce T700... I mean it is the best performing engine afterall...

There. Corrected it for yer.

Quoting Sharktail (Reply 30):
This is the equivalent of a car dealership buying his own cars to make the numbers at the end of the month.

Sounds like Airbus just was able to get 5 frames closer to not having to stop production of the A330CEO before they start the A330NEO.

Think they may decide expand the program by 5 more frames if they can't sell enough A330CEO planes.

 

The A330 Beluga has been evaluated for a long time before the idea of a A330neo was bandied around.
 
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:44 pm

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 43):
That was not the point.

But that is the point. That's why the A340 airframe was not chosen. It doesn't have the runway performance to get out of Broughton.
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RE: Airbus Announces A330 Beluga

Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:51 pm

Well at least the thread managed to stay interesting and informative for 32 posts before it turned into yet another bashing thread  
Quoting scbriml (Reply 10):
Given the EIS date, I can see these being amongst the last A330ceo frames of the production line. I'm assuming Airbus wouldn't want to take A330neo slots away from customers.

Given that the original Belugas were produced over a period of 7 years, I suspect that the new Belugas will be produced over a similar period, probably 2019 - 2025 to coincide with retirements from the existing fleet. This would suggest that it is far more likely, in my opinion, that the new Belugas will be based on the 330Neo.

Quoting LH422 (Reply 5):
I was still hoping for an A340-500 as base but that didn't seem to fit as well.

Would have been nice to see but, even without the short runway at Broughton, I don't think Airbus needed the range or payload that that the 345 platform would have provided. Would have just been too much plane for the intended missions.

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 45):
The press release says the existing fleet will be progressively retired through to 2025, not in 2025 itself. That doesn't sound like Airbus will operate 10 Beluga's simultaneously.

  
I suspect it will be almost a frame for frame replacement, spread over 6 years. The additional capacity will come from being able to carry more components on each flight due to the larger body.

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