The BelugaXL is mainly based on the A330-200F the freighter version of the A330.With a maximum takeoff weight of 227 metric tons it can transport two wings of an A350, for example. However, the XL size, a considerably increased load, and the small number of aircraft planned required a step change in design and production. This is where the rigid foam ROHACELL® developed by the High Performance Polymers Business Line demonstrated its superiority. Although the material price of the foam core for the manufacture of fiber-reinforced composites is higher than that of competitor materials, the overall costs for production and maintenance are lower. This calculation, which marketing staff from the Performance Foams Product Line have been tirelessly bringing home to aircraft manufacturers for several years, obviously convinced Airbus: The leading edge of the Super Transporter’s vertical stabilizer consists of a sandwich component with ROHACELL® core in between glass fiber reinforced plastic skins.
Extensive advance testing confirmed the quality of this design, but the ROHACELL® production was also examined carefully by Airbus. On July 17 and 18, 2018, Airbus certified its outstanding quality in a product and process audit in Darmstadt. What better reason for a big smile?