MIAMI — Airbus has today unveiled the brand-new BelugaXL sporting a whale-like livery as it rolled out of the paintshop in Toulouse.
The BelugaXL inaugural flight is set to take place in Summer 2018, though currently, the aircraft will undertake ground tests before its first voyage.
— Airbus (@Airbus) June 28, 2018
This smiley livery design won with 40% votes in favor, among five additional choices, Airbus said.
The manufacturer sent out a survey to its employees, gaining a participation of 20,000 people.
“The six designs we proposed for consideration by employees respected our brand identity while running from the conventional to the unconventional, even adding a touch of fun,” commented Tim Orr, Airbus’ Head of Branding.
— Clément Alloing (@CAlloing) June 28, 2018
According to Airbus, the decision to build the BelugaXL was taken back in November 2014 to “address the transport and ramp-up capacity requirements for Airbus beyond 2019,” as the manufacturer said through a statement.
“The new oversize air transporters are based on the A330-200 Freighter, with a large re-use of existing components and equipment. The first of five BelugaXLs will fly in summer 2018 and enter into service in 2019,” established Airbus later.
READ MORE: Airbus BelugaXL Hits The Road
The BelugaXL will gradually replace, commencing in mid-2019, the current five-member Beluga ST fleet, which transports full sections of Airbus aircraft from its production sites across Europe to the final assembly lines located in Toulouse, France, and Hamburg, Germany.