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Monday, December 4, 2023

Airbus Beluga ‘Whale’ Makes Majestic Return to Hyderabad’s Skies


Hyderabad: In an impressive display of engineering prowess, the Airbus A 300-600 Super Transporter, famously dubbed the “Beluga” due to its whale-like appearance, has once again graced the tarmac of Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. This marks the second visit of the colossal cargo aircraft to the City of Pearls, showcasing its unique ability to ferry oversized air cargo with finesse.

The awe-inspiring spectacle unfolded on Tuesday as the Airbus Beluga descended gracefully onto the airport’s runway. With its capacity to accommodate outsized cargo on its roof, the aircraft has earned its reputation as one of the largest cargo planes globally. The GMR Hyderabad International Airport expressed its enthusiasm for playing host to this airborne leviathan once more, encapsulating its sentiment in a statement.

The intricate ballet of arranging for the secure landing, parking, and eventual take-off of this weighty behemoth necessitated special preparations by the airport authorities. The Airbus Beluga has long been a favored workhorse for Airbus, primarily employed to ferry hefty components of their aircraft from disparate European locations to Toulouse, France, for assembly. This recurrence of the Beluga’s presence underscores the growing influence of Hyderabad and its burgeoning prowess in aerospace engineering.

Beyond its peculiar exterior, the Airbus Beluga boasts substantial performance capabilities. Surpassing the confines of its unusual design, the aircraft can achieve speeds of up to Mach 0.7. A testament to its might, it can shoulder an impressive maximum payload of 40 tonnes, spanning distances of 2,779 kilometers on a single journey. Notably, this is the aircraft’s second appearance in Hyderabad within the span of eight months, solidifying its connection with the region and emphasizing the state’s expanding role in the aerospace domain.

This is not the first instance of Hyderabad’s aviation hub playing host to heavyweight aerial visitors. In 2016, the airport garnered global attention by accommodating the Antonov An-225, the world’s largest strategic airlift cargo aircraft. This achievement underscored the airport’s capability to deftly handle colossal cargo carriers, further affirming its place on the global aviation stage.

The reappearance of the Airbus Beluga in Hyderabad’s skies is a remarkable chapter in the city’s ongoing narrative of aviation accomplishments. As the “whale of the sky” graces the airport grounds once again, it not only symbolizes the remarkable strides made in aerospace technology but also serves as a visual testament to human ingenuity pushing the boundaries of what can take flight.


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