Airbus completes first test flight of Beluga XL ‘flying whale’

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CNN: Airbus recently made a big splash with its design for the latest version of its Beluga transport airplane, and now the company reports the first of five aircraft has successfully finished its first test flight.

The new BelugaXL (Airbus A330-700L) landed at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, France, at 2:41 p.m. local time on Thursday after a flight of four hours and 11 minutes.


Airbus says the BelugaXL will undergo some 600 hours of flight tests over 10 months before entering expected service in 2019.

The design is certainly eye-catching: Its livery includes a whale-style nose cone, sparkling blue eyes and a smiling mouth.


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