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Crane Attends Airbus Beluga XL Suppliers Conference in Toulouse

Crane Aerospace & Electronics recently visited the Airbus Delivery Center in Toulouse, France for the first Beluga XL Suppliers Conference. Fourteen suppliers from around the world met to celebrate the recent end of the aircraft’s concept phase, a major milestone in any new development program. Suppliers worked closely with Airbus to ensure the timely completion of this phase and transition to the detailed design phase. 

Patrice Herbay, Crane's Regional OEM Business and Marketing Director, represented Crane at the event, which included remarks from Bertrand George, the head of the Beluga XL program; Philippe Sabo, head of Airbus Transport International; Marc Cousin, Head of Technical Directorate & Beluga XL Chief Engineer; and Serge Leichter, Head of Program Management Directorate. Throughout the conference, Airbus repeatedly applauded the excellent collaboration work that all suppliers, including Crane, have performed to date.

The Beluga XL was designed to support production ramp-up of the A350 XWB and other aircraft production rate increases. It is based on the A330-200 freighter, but has been modified to carry complete sections of Airbus aircraft, produced at various sites around Europe, to the final assembly lines in Toulouse, Hamburg and Seville.

Crane’s Lyon site supplies the Doors & Slides Control System (DSCS) for the Beluga XL. The system is based on the Main Cargo Loading Door Control and Monitoring Unit that Crane supplies for the current Beluga ST, though with expanded capabilities. The DSCS monitors, communicates and controls the position of the main cargo doors, and monitors the position of the aft cargo, bulk cargo and belly doors. It also communicates with other aircraft systems as well as to door-and cargo bay-mounted status panels. 

Airbus currently plans to build five Beluga XL aircraft, which will deliver an additional 30 percent extra transport capacity. The first Beluga XL will enter into service in 2019.