Gigantic Airbus Beluga XL coming to a full stop doesn’t look like it should be possible

  • In the video, the aircraft performs a triumphant flypast
  • The pilot also does a friendly wing wave, before gracefully making a perfect landing
  • The aircraft comes to a stop almost immediately, seeming to defy physics

Published on Apr 09, 2024 at 2:33 PM (UTC+4)
by Nalin Rawat

Last updated on Apr 09, 2024 at 2:36 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

If a pilot ever tells you that whales can fly, they are likely talking about the Airbus Beluga XL.

The aircraft is known as ‘Smiley-faced Giant’ in the aviation industry, due to its immense size and shape.

One would think that the gigantic aircraft would be quite hard to handle, but it is quite nimble, as you can see in the video.

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Airbus Beluga XL is a transport aircraft based on Airbus A330.

It is a modified version of the original Airbus Beluga with 30% more capacity.

In terms of size, it is the only commercial aircraft that can even come close to the Airbus 380 and Boeing Dreamlifter.

The aircraft operates at Mach 0.69 and can fly up to an altitude of 11,000m (35,000ft).

The Airbus Beluga XL also has an improved range of 4,300km (2,600 miles) over its predecessor’s 1,700km (1,000 mi) range.

The aircraft has a massive wingspan of 60.3m with a 19m height.

However, military planes like the Antonov An-225 Mriya and Lockheed C-5 Galaxy are still much larger than the Airbus Beluga XL.

Unfortunately, the aircraft manufacturer officially stopped the production of the gigantic Airbus Beluga XL cargo plane last year.

However, there are many Belugas still in service, so you might get lucky and spot one at your local airport.

The video captures the moment the Airbus Beluga XL performs a triumphant flypast.

During the flypast, the aircraft also performs a friendly wing wave, before gracefully making a perfect landing.

The plane’s main purpose is to transport large aircraft components, such as wings.

Even the interior of the plane is completely hollow, as it needs the space to store these components.

However, despite the exquisite engineering, it’s hard to understand the physics of it getting off the ground and stopping almost immediately upon landing.

# Tags - Airbus, Airplanes


Nalin Rawat

Nalin started his career by working with various national newspapers in India. He has also worked as a writer/editor for many popular websites, while still pursuing his journalism and mass communication degree. Working as a digital nomad has allowed him to inform and educate through his work. When he is not writing, you can find him playing video games or travelling the mountains on his bike.