BelugaXL passes ground vibration test


The first BelugaXL has passed its ground vibration test, a requirement for certification of the aircraft before its maiden flight within the next three months.


The objective of the test is to measure the dynamic behavior of the aircraft and confirm the theoretical models of various flight conditions, such as maneuvering, flying in gusty conditions and landing. The test data also helps clear the aircraft’s flight envelope.


The vibration test was performed by French research center ONERA and German research center DLR over 8 days using several hundred external accelerometers while the aircraft was stimulated by external shakers or seismic exciters.

Beluga XL under test

Monitoring the aircraft during vibration testing (Image: Airbus)

The BelugaXL was launched in November 2014 to address the transport and ramp-up capacity requirements for Airbus beyond 2019. 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 are expected to fly this summer and enter into service during 2019.


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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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