rigo
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How does the Beluga handle in flight?

Thu May 30, 2019 6:05 am

Admittedly in the real world I have never piloted anything bigger than a C172, but I wonder how well does the Airbus Beluga actually fly? I would think that with its center of gravity positioned so high above the wings, the handling of a fully loaded Beluga must be absolutely terrible. Adding to it is that being based on the A300, the classic (non-XL) Beluga presumably has no FBW to help the pilot?
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: How does the Beluga handle in flight?

Thu May 30, 2019 6:20 am

No FBW doesn't mean it has no augmentation. The controls would still have artificial feel and be balanced for the aircraft.

I don't think the CoG is high, even when loaded. The cargo is mostly air, after all. Empty wings and fuselages. The MTOW off the Beluga is 16 tons lower than the MTOW of the stock A300-600R.
Last edited by Starlionblue on Thu May 30, 2019 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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VSMUT
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Re: How does the Beluga handle in flight?

Thu May 30, 2019 6:22 am

It is very crosswind sensitive.

rigo wrote:
I would think that with its center of gravity positioned so high above the wings, the handling of a fully loaded Beluga must be absolutely terrible.


It isn't the center of gravity that is high. It is probably a bit higher than a normal plane, but that big shell is pretty light. It is the much higher center of drag that would make it behave differently.
 
stratclub
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Re: How does the Beluga handle in flight?

Thu May 30, 2019 10:38 am

VSMUT wrote:
It is very crosswind sensitive.

rigo wrote:
I would think that with its center of gravity positioned so high above the wings, the handling of a fully loaded Beluga must be absolutely terrible.


It isn't the center of gravity that is high. It is probably a bit higher than a normal plane, but that big shell is pretty light. It is the much higher center of drag that would make it behave differently.

I would imagine that the crosswind component certainly like was eluded to would require considerable piloting skills for cross wind landings. I would add that the Beluga is an elegant solution designed to meet mission requirements. The Boeing LCF? kind of a half arsed design. Boeing's catch up idea of "we can fly aircraft assemblies all over the world when there is no economic reason to do so" except to keep up with Airbus's unique multinational build plan. And I'm not an Airbus fanboy.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How does the Beluga handle in flight?

Thu May 30, 2019 1:35 pm

Calling any of these planes “elegant” is bit of a stretch. It’d be interesting to see proof there’s no economic reason to haul the parts around by LCF. Just about every plane built is international.

GF
 
stratclub
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Re: How does the Beluga handle in flight?

Thu May 30, 2019 6:21 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Calling any of these planes “elegant” is bit of a stretch. It’d be interesting to see proof there’s no economic reason to haul the parts around by LCF. Just about every plane built is international.

GF

Just my opinion. Elegant in how Airbus executed the design. What does it cost to ship something by air compared to shipping something by boat? My assumption is that if they had more airplanes in the system, they could ship by boat for a lot cheaper.
 
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Stitch
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Re: How does the Beluga handle in flight?

Thu May 30, 2019 6:50 pm

Boast would be cheaper, but I imagine air allows more flexibility in shipset scheduling. To maximize the boats economics, you'd need to have a large number of shipets on each run.

As an aside (and we're starting to drift off-topic so), Boeing originally considered having the Japanese suppliers pre-assemble and "pre-stuff" 777 fuselage barrels and ship them by boat to PAE where they would have undergone final assembly similar to how the 787 is done.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How does the Beluga handle in flight?

Fri May 31, 2019 3:11 am

With ocean freight, Boeing would have a lot of money tied up “in inventory” at sea. Planes reduce the cost of inventory.


gf
 
VSMUT
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Re: How does the Beluga handle in flight?

Fri May 31, 2019 4:02 am

stratclub wrote:
I would imagine that the crosswind component certainly like was eluded to would require considerable piloting skills for cross wind landings.


Well yes and no. The crosswind limits are so that it is never going to be hard to land in crosswind. It just means it is really limited in what sort of weather it can fly in.
There are also hefty limits to what sort of wind it can have the cargo door open in, and load/offload cargo.

But that having been said, I've seen the requirements when Airbus hired pilots for the Beluga fleet. They are extremely high. Think it was a minimum of 10.000 hours, plus a lot of extras.
 
thepinkmachine
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Re: How does the Beluga handle in flight?

Fri May 31, 2019 7:32 am

VSMUT wrote:
Well yes and no. The crosswind limits are so that it is
But that having been said, I've seen the requirements when Airbus hired pilots for the Beluga fleet. They are extremely high. Think it was a minimum of 10.000 hours, plus a lot of extras.


Actually, there were advertising for pilots a couple of years ago and the requirements were quite reasonable - don’t remember exactly, but nowhere near 10000 hrs.

A French friend of mine even was offered the job, but eventually didn’t take it as he considered it quite tedious/boring and the salary wasn’t that high either.
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