How to transport the airplanes’ parts?

It has been a while since the first airplane was created in 1903 in the US, just 90 years before my creation in Valencia. Since that moment the aeronautics industry has widely changed and transform into one of the most publicly traded industry.

At the beginning the planes were fully build since the first designs and calculus, until the final building just before the flight, in the same place, usually in the same hangar. But since the small traditional and familiar aircraft companies developed their knowledge and started to create strong alliances, the work was diversified in different locations where the labour work was cheaper and prepared enough to overcome the difficult work of building big airplanes.

Even for the smaller ones the different parts are manufactured by different companies: the engines, the structure and the navigation systems, naming only some of them, are all developed in completely different firms that are specialized in this concrete field. Nevertheless, there are some big companies that build the main commercial aircrafts in the world that integrate all this knowledge in their different locations. Then, there is a big constraint that Airbus, the European biggest company in the field, had to overcome years ago, how to send these different parts to the final assembly production location.

Thanks to this constraint, or problem that they didn’t know how to tackle at first, they invented the most majestic, beautiful, huge, impressive… and an interminable list of adjectives that will never describe the magic of the biggest plane flying into history. Let me introduce you to the Beluga:

Beluga 1

Last Beluga, the XL model, the biggest plane in history. Credits to: Airbus

Beluga 2

Last Beluga, the XL model, the biggest plane in history. Credits to: Airbus

The most amazing part of this plane is that it barely can fly, as in normal conditions, because as soon as they move the wings (with the different roll, pitch and yaw angles that the plane can move). It can only move some little angles (few actually, around 5º) because if not it could fall down ( what in aeronautics we call stall). It is incredible to think how the different parts of the plane can fly inside this big monster as in the next picture:

Beluga 3

Credits to: Airbus

Only the way that the biggest hangar to keep this plane, was created needs a special article, as you can see here:

Beluga 4

Credits to: Airbus

Therefore, in the case you think this is an interesting topic or some of you has a special interest in the logistics of the aeronautics/ aerospace industry, just let me know and I will produce some more articles about it.

You can see some videos and more information about the Beluga here:

Beluga XL, bigger than ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE5puRMCLuM

Non an official video but I like it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmPZxpcGCZQ

 

 

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