Airbus' on-board cargo lifter makes the Beluga self-loading

IRBUS IS DEVELOPING a novel on-board lifter for its A300-600ST Beluga outsize freighter as part of its proposal to meet the Royal Air Force Short Term Strategic Airlifter (STSA) requirement.
The cargo lifter allows freight to be loaded and unloaded without the need for ground support equipment, says Airbus director of transport operation, Arnaud Martin. Built into the front of the Beluga's cargo hold, the cargo lifter is compatible with all STSA essential loads, including the Boeing CH-47 Chinook and AH-64 Apache helicopters and the Warrior armoured fighting vehicle.
Martin says Airbus has completed modelling work that proves the cargo
lifter concept, but it has not selected the mechanical systems.
Airbus' STSA bid is based on one Beluga and four A300-600F freighters. Maritn says that all will be new-build aircraft, which will need a sixth A300-600ST to be produced.
He adds that the bid could be modified to two Belugas and three A300-600Fs if the RAF is concerned about having only a single large-volume aircraft.
Other STSA bidders inlude Boeing and Airbus Industrie partner British Aerospace offering four C-17 Globmasters, while Air Foyle is proposing Antonov An-124s, re-engined with Rolls-Royce RB211s, and IBP is offering unmodified An-124s.

Reprinted From FLIGHT International
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