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Beluga XL First Flight to the UK


Mike
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I'm surprised no-one's mentioned this one, but today was the first flight around the UK by the new BelugaXL (A330-743L) from Toulouse (en France), ending with a landing at Hawarden airport, right next to the Airbus factory, Chester.  This is the same factory (or at least the site of it) where they built Wellingtons in WWII, and they did the 24 hour build film, which I'm sure some of you have seen.

 

She flew up over the Channel, and did some laps around Bristol/Newport, then headed north toward Hawarden, kinking out East around my village for a low pass over the runway, then another lap even closer to my front garden before landing at Hawarden.  My golly-gosh, it's big!  It's difficult to tell how much bigger than the Beluga it is in the air, but it has quite a different nose/forehead profile than the original, which we see here regularly due to the flightpath around the airport.  There were a few people stood out in my cul-de-sac watching the first pass, but the 2nd probably took most people by surprise, but I had @stringbag giving me a blow-by-blow description from Flightradar24, so I was ready for her 2nd pass, which was quite a bit closer.  I didn't have my camera on me, so I snapped a couple of pics with my phone, all of which were dreadful, but not to worry, eh?  Here's the best of an awful batch, and maybe I should have prepared a bit more, but I wasn't expecting her that close. :shrug:

 

belugaxl.jpg

 

A pretty terrible picture overall, but you can definitely see that there's a plane in the sky there somewhere ^_^

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2 minutes ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

will they need it now they have canned the 380?

Definitely.  The A300STs are getting on in years, hours and cycles now and are less efficient aerodynamucally, and in terms of fuel burn, than the current A330 family, particularly the NEO sub-species.  It'll be easier for these new jets to carry A330 and A350 components too, especially if they have to support assembly centres in China and Ameeica.

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I saw it on our local news today as it flew over Brissle (Bristol).  Looks good and I hope a kit is forthcoming, although I haven't even managed to get the ordinary A330 yet.  I must get to a show sometime.

 

Mike

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48 minutes ago, bootneck said:

Looks good and I hope a kit is forthcoming

If you can't wait and want to do a custom i've just had a look on ebay for the Beluga in 1:200,just make sure you sit down before you look at the price and one's SkyMarks!....

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1 hour ago, Sabrejet said:

Nice and sunny at Filton:

I dunno - I think mine's better :clown:

 

My OH's cousin got some nice video of it doing a flypast and a wing waggle, so I'll try & get that from her in due course :)

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