The latest addition to the inventory of Airbus is the BelugaXL. It's a cargo plane and undertook its maiden test flight at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in the presence of thousands of people who are associated with the project. They were the employees and subcontractors of Airbus. This version of the aircraft is larger compared to the BelugaST which is already in service.

Daily Mail UK reports that BelugaXL is six meters longer and one meter wider than the BelugaST and can carry six tonnes extra load. In other words, it is large enough to be able to accommodate both wings of the A350 XWB jetliner at a time while the earlier version could take only one wing.

What is known about BelugaXL

The BelugaXL cargo plane of Airbus will stand out in a crowd because of its appearance. This was evident at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport. It not only looks like the beluga whale but has “eyes and a cheeky smile” that adds to its charm. When asked to vote on a design for the plane, a large number of employees chose to go in for the “comical grin.’

Airbus has indicated that the new Beluga incorporates several changes to its structure and is expected to enter service by mid-2019. It will operate along with the existing fleet of five-aircraft A300-600ST which is on the way out. It will be progressively retired through 2025.

Incidentally, the manufacturer unveiled its pioneering solar-powered drone at Britain's Farnborough airshow.

The drone is named the Zephyr S, and it completed its first test flight from Arizona on July 11 to add another feather to its crown.

BelugaXL could revolutionize transportation

According to The Sun UK, the BelugaXL was nicknamed as the "whale in the sky" because of its unique shape. The program to build this oversized aircraft started in 2014.

The objective was to transport different portions of Airbus aircraft, oversized components, from one location to another and take them to the final assembly lines in Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany. The XL version has 30 percent extra capacity compared to the ones that are operating now. The plane can fly for more than 2,500 miles and is powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 700 Turbofan engines.

Aviation is expanding at a fast pace and is not limited to not only aircraft but encompasses airspace as a whole. There are aircraft to ferry passengers or to fight wars or to transport goods, and even to reach other planets. BelugaXL should be able to make an impact in its field of specialization.