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susan smitten

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A Flying Whale! [Jul. 10th, 2006|02:09 am]
susan smitten
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I saw one of these "Beluga" aircraft flying low over Hamburg the other day. Isn't it cute? It's a whale in the sky!

Edit: In the interest of fairness and equal air time (so to speak), here's a picture my Dad emailed me a few days ago.


(It's a hoax, though.)
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: scottks
2006-07-09 10:18 pm (UTC)
What are they for? Is it real or photoshopped? The horizonal tail portion looks kinda flimsy for this monster.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2006-07-09 10:30 pm (UTC)
They're for transporting pieces of other Airbuses!

From the Airbus site:
"The Beluga (also known as the A300-600ST Super Transporter) was developed to carry complete sections of Airbus aircraft from different production sites around Europe to the final assembly lines in Toulouse or Hamburg. Its main-deck cargo volume is greater than the C5 Galaxy, the An-124 or the C-17 airlifters."
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[User Picture]From: indianasweetie
2006-07-10 01:05 am (UTC)
how friggin' awesome! That'd be a sight to see. I'm Jealous.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2006-07-10 01:54 am (UTC)
I felt pretty lucky. I think there are only five of them! =)
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[User Picture]From: octal
2006-07-10 05:25 am (UTC)
Moving aircraft parts is one of the few very bulky but very light, high value items, moving from an inland factory to another inland factory. Plus I guess the aircraft manufacturers get planes really cheap :)

I never realized it was a twin engine, though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_Beluga
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aero_Spacelines_Super_Guppy (1970s version)

Boeing has the LCF which is basically a "hatchback" version of a 747 cargo; the whole tail swings open.

I've flown on big Russian and USAF cargo planes, but most are turbojet vs. turbofan (since they're old), and thus really painfully loud. And, designed for weight transport vs. bulk (most of the cargo loads only take up 25% of the interior volume, but max out weight)
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2006-07-10 08:47 pm (UTC)
Those are interesting articles; thanks for those! =)
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[User Picture]From: doc_cathode
2006-07-10 07:38 pm (UTC)
I believe the 797 is real. The thing looks alot like NASA's next generation shuttle. If Boeing is the contractor making the bodies of the shuttle (They are one of the names that comes immediately to mind), it would make sense to modify the design for commercial use.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2006-07-10 08:40 pm (UTC)
Well, the first thing that came to mind when I saw the picture was one of the A380 protodesigns, with a fuselage twice as wide as that of the A340. The design was scrapped, in part, because the wide cabin couldn't be evacuated quickly enough.

Then, last night before I posted this, I looked all over Boeing's website for anything about a blended wing passenger plane, and found no mention of it. It wouldn't surprise me if the above were a photoshopped image of the shuttle design.
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[User Picture]From: octal
2006-07-11 12:55 pm (UTC)
It was a concept design; it certainly hasn't been built. (they photoshopped concept design into a real airport)

The next 747 will be the 747-8, which is a moderate improvement on the 747-400; a little longer, more fuel efficient, commonality with the 787. I'd actually look to the next 737s also sharing cockpit/etc. tech wit hthe 787/747-8, since one of the big advantages of airbus is the common cockpit through all models.

The next-next-gen boeing will be the "Y3", a replacement for 777-300ER and 747-400. 747-400 is actually mainly a cargo plane at this point; most passenger operators are getting 777s or airbus instead. ETOPS ("engines turn or passengers swim") 777 means it is way more fuel efficient per seat-mile than a 747. Y1 is the 737 replacement, Y2 is 787, and Y3 is 747-8/777-300ER replacement (and I think will get delayed until 2020 or so)
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