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Stelia Aerospace delivers the first BelugaXL cargo-door

News International-French

26 Sep 2017

Stelia Aerospace’s site in Rochefort has just delivered to its customer Airbus the main cargo-door of the very first BelugaXL, fully equipped with its electric and hydraulic systems.

Stelia Aerospace delivers the first BelugaXL cargo-door
This delivery follows that, early July, of the upper fuselage section, to which the cargo-door will be attached and articulated.

Just like the upper fuselage section, the cargo-door was forwarded last night by road from the Stelia Aerospace plant to Rochefort commercial port, and placed onboard the barge used for the transport of the A380 sections.

It will then be shipped by sea and river to the port of Langon near Bordeaux, then by road following the A380 special transport itinerary, from Langon to Toulouse, where the super-transporter’s final assembly line is located.

With its outstanding dimensions – 10 m long, 9 m large and 8 m high – this door, with a total weight of 3.1 tonnes including its systems, and a surface of nearly 140 sq. meters, is the largest aircraft door ever manufactured in Europe. Bearing specific complex opening and closing systems, this door will enable the loading / unloading of the payload inside the BelugaXL.

Since January 2015, the teams of three Stelia Aerospace sites (Rochefort, Saint- Nazaire and Toulouse) have worked together to ensure the design, manufacturing, assembly and equipment of this « work package », with its associated mechanisms.

After being designed by the Toulouse and Rochefort design offices, the elementary parts where manufactured by the Rochefort and Saint-Nazaire sites as well as Stelia Aerospace’s suppliers, the assembly and testing being then carried out at Rochefort.

Cédric Gautier, CEO of Stelia Aerospace, said: “Stelia Aerospace teams and myself are very proud of this new delivery, on time, after 3 years of intense and close work between our different sites and our customer’s teams. Our teams have once again demonstrated their ability to deliver on time a complete “plug and play” section ».

The BelugaXL, a latest generation aircraft (derived from the Airbus A330), is the successor of the current BelugaST (derived from the Airbus A300). The programme was launched in November 2014, in order to adress Airbus’ transport capacity requirements due to production ramp-up. In this context, the aircraft manufacturer decided to expand its existing BelugaST fleet with the development and production of five new BelugaXL aircraft, which will gradually enter into service as from 2019.

After the delivery by the Méaulte plant, on 30th May, of the first nose section of the BelugaXL, fully equipped with its electric and fluid systems, and the delivery on 8th July, by the Rochefort site, of the upper fuselage section, this delivery is the third section delivered by Stelia Aerospace for the first of Airbus’ future super-transporter.