Airbus expands outsize air cargo capabilities

Airbus is expanding its outsized air cargo capabilities with a new loading system for the Beluga A300-600ST aircraft for military cargo. The total lifting capacity of the Airbus Defence and Space-developed loading system to move outsized military cargo into the A300-600ST reaches 35 tonnes. Airbus tested the capability of the loading system, which requires no crane for its use and can be relocated to the aircraft’s destination, during a verification exercise with the German armed forces, the system’s first customer. The exercise involved loading a CH53 military medium-lift helicopter into the Beluga. “The demand for outsized air cargo capability is on the rise. Capacity is scarce and, current geopolitical developments, many customers are looking for new, fast, and efficient solutions. This is what we offer with our BelugaST fleet,” said Michael Schoellhorn, chief executive, Airbus Defence and Space. “Our teams have been working on a remarkable solution to facilitate efficient, and autonomous handling to load heavy military cargo onto the aircraft. “Speed, agility and autonomy are crucial elements for our customers when it comes to such operations.”