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Digital Subscriptions > Airliner World > November 2014 > Beluga Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Beluga Celebrates 20th Anniversary

AIRBUS CELEBRATED the 20th anniversary of the maiden flight of the A300-600ST Super Transporter on September 13. The aircraft completed 335 hours of test flying over 13 months to receive its restricted type certification and was delivered into service on October 25, 1995. A further four Super Transporters were constructed, at a rate of roughly one per year. The aircraft’s unique appearance, reminiscent of a Beluga whale, led the manufacturer to adopt the name officially for the type (see Airliner World, October 2013). Today, the Beluga fleet is operated by Airbus Transport International and performs more than 60 rotations every week between the company’s 11 European sites, flying crucial parts to final assembly lines in Toulouse and Hamburg. The Beluga’s duties will substantially increase over the next five years with production of the A350 XWB increasing and a ramp-up on other programmes. Airbus is predicting a doubling of the fleet’s activities by 2017 – from 5,000 to 10,000 flight hours.

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About Airliner World

In the November issue of Airliner World, we profile Australia’s leading domestic airline and flag carrier subsidiary QantasLink. We also report on Latvian carrier airBaltic’s recent turnaround, welcome the arrival of Qatar Airways’ first Airbus A380 and examine whether global airline alliances are here to stay, or are they being put under pressure by new models of inter-carrier co-operation This issue celebrates some major landmarks; we join US Airways for the final flights of its iconic Boeing 737 Classics and we fly on the last Cyprus Airways service from London/Heathrow to Larnaca. Maintaining our historical theme, we have part 1 of the United/Continental Airlines story, and we fly Pam Am International Flight Academy’s full-motion Boeing 707 simulator, the last device of its kind in existence. The latest issue incorporates our comprehensive coverage of worldwide news, including Garuda Indonesia’s new services from London to Jakarta, the Boeing 737 MAX 200 launch and the official opening of’s multi-million pound training facility, plus all of our regular sections covering the latest commercial aircraft acquisitions, up-to-date accident reports and developments from the world of aviation training.