The gigantic whale-shaped plane that often leaves onlookers in wonder made a return to the City of Joy airport! On Sunday morning, the Airbus Beluga (No. 3), one of the biggest planes in the world, landed at the airport in Kolkata for crew rest and refuelling.
The enormous cabin of the aeroplane is about four times as big as a typical wide-body aircraft. The Airbus A300 B4-608 ST super transporter, often known as Beluga, is a wide-body airliner that has been adapted to carry enormous cargo and aircraft parts.
“Guess who’s back! It’s the whale again! One of the world’s largest aircraft @Airbus #Beluga (No. 3) landed at #KolkataAirport for crew rest and refueling. Here are few glimpses of the majestic beast from the #CityofJoy. #Airbus #BelugaAircraft #BelugaWhale”The Kolkata Airport authorities informed via a tweet
The aeroplane has visited Kolkata three times, most recently in May of this year and once previously, almost 23 years ago in 1999.
The plane has a wingspan of approximately 45 metres and is almost six stories tall. Its cargo hold measures 124 feet long, 23 feet wide, and 23 feet high. Since going into service in March 1996, the plane that caused a stir in Kolkata has flown more than 3,100 times. In addition to the BelugaXL, which is larger, there are four other similar aircraft in service.
In 1999, a Beluga aircraft touched down at the airport at Kolkata with the enormous Eugene Delacroix artwork Liberty Leading the People, which had previously hung in the Louvre in Paris since 1874. It was transported by air at the time via Bahrain and Kolkata to Tokyo. The 3 m x 3.6 m painting was too big to fit into a Boeing B747. It was moved vertically inside a specialised pressurised container that was equipped with an anti-vibration mechanism and isothermal protection.
Airbus Beluga runway excursion at Albert
Airbus A330-743L “Beluga XL” (registered F-GXLN) operated a cargo flight between Saint Nazaire and Albert Picardie, France. Just after landing at Albert Picardie Airport, the aircraft missed a U-turn at the end of the runway and ended up on the soft ground.
Airbus Transport International Airbus A330-700 Beluga (Beluga 5 XL), registration F-GXLN performing flight BG-127N from Montoir to Albert (France), landed on runway 27 at 12:43L (11:43Z), rolled to the end, turned into the turn pad to start the 180 degrees turn for backtracking, and completed about 135 degrees of the turn but then became disabled with the nose gear off the paved surface in the grass.
“At very low speed and without injured,” an Airbus Beluga spokesperson confirmed. Meanwhile, an operation to recover the aircraft was said.
“Everything will be done to ensure that the impact on the production activities at Airbus is mitigated,” the spokesperson continued.
The “Airbus Beluga XL” was transporting tools and transport supports from Saint Nazaire to the aeronautics factory of Méaulte.
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