sábado, 18 de janeiro de 2014

O avião mais estranho do mundo

Sem dúvida, é este aí:

Airbus is looking at a potential replacement for the aging A300-600ST Super Transporter. Though no final decisions have been made, the "Beluga XL" is expected to have a longer range and ability to carry heavier payloads.

Ele se chama Airbus A300-ST, e é um gigante que pode transportar 47 toneladas métricas de carga.
Ele é popularmente chamado de Beluga, por fortes razões de semelhança com a baleia Beluga:

Seriously, the resemblance is uncanny.

Só existem cinco, cada um ligeiramente diferente do outro, e todos trabalham exclusivamente para a Airbus, transportando peças de aviões das fábricas espalhadas pela Europa para a montagem final em Toulouse.
Veja mais imagens do Beluga:

The Beluga isn't serially produced, making each an "artisan" product. The A300-600ST Super Transporter can carry a payload of 47 metric tons (103,616 pounds) over a range of 1,500 nautical miles.

The legendary Beluga has brought many a plane spotter to Toulouse. Visitors can often be found sitting on the grass near Toulouse Blagnac Airport waiting for one of the five big beauties to take off or land.

With a diameter of 7.1 meters, the Beluga has an incredibly large cargo hold. Though its maximum payload of 47 tons is surpassed by only a handful of cargo aircraft, the hold makes it good for oversized but not particularly heavy cargo.

It's easy to see how the Beluga got its nickname.

A Beluga can carry the wings of an A340 airliner or fuselage for Airbus' wide-body <a href='http://travel.cnn.com/tags/a350'>A350</a>. It's not large enough to transport parts for the A380 super jumbo. Those travel by boat, barge and road.

Belugas can be chartered by third parties. In 2006, a container holding a five-meter-high granite statue of a Ptolemaic Pharaoh was flown from Berlin to Paris.

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