Where, when and how do you see this smiling Beluga Whale flying over the Severn River

This will be one of the most unusual sites seen for some time on the banks of the Severn.

(And yes, we remember Stormtroopers surfers)

We will see this smiling and smiling Airbus BelugaXL super-carrier plane fly over the Severn Bridge on Valentine's Day during a trip between France and Wales.

The XL version (extra-large) of the Beluga aircraft – so named for its eerie resemblance to the marine mammal – is due to leave Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France on Thursday, February 14 at 1 pm .

He will then travel to the Airbus Filton factory near Bristol for an air show at 2:25 pm.

Flight plan for the BelugaXL

  • 13h: leaves Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France
  • 2:25 pm: Flypast at the Airbus factory in Filton near Bristol
  • 2:30 pm: Aerial Bridge over Severn Bridge
  • 3:10 pm: Flypast at the Rolls Royce factory in Derby
  • 3:30 pm: Arrival at Hawarden Airfield in Broughton, Flintshire

The distinctive device, sporting the smiling face of a whale, will then travel at 2:30 pm on the Severn to fly over the Severn Bridge, and at 3:10 pm to get to the Rolls Royce factory in Derby.

The plane made its first test flight from Toulouse last July, but this is the first time BelugaXL has been to the UK as part of its 12-month test program.

The XL, which, like its predecessor ST, will be transporting aircraft parts, including wings made in Broughton, to Airbus European sites, is due to come on stream later this year.

A beluga

The imminent arrival of BelugaXL in the United Kingdom has already begun to generate considerable interest in social media channels.

An Airbus spokesman said, "We are looking forward to seeing the XL land at Broughton for the first time and are aware that members of the public may also want to attend this historic event.

"Unfortunately, we are not able to welcome tourists to the factory site and we would therefore urge people to travel to the Chocks Away Diner through the airfield, rather than blocking them. public trails or create hazards for themselves or other road users. "

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The distinctive aircraft – the first of five aircraft that will eventually replace the current fleet of Beluga ST (standard) carriers – made its inaugural test flight from Toulouse last July and was broadcast live at Farnborough International Air Show.

However, this will be the first time that BelugaXL has visited the UK as part of its 12-month test program.

Stormtroopers on the Severn River

The XL, which, like its predecessor ST, will be transporting aircraft parts, including wings manufactured in Broughton, North Wales, at Airbus European sites, is expected to come on stream later this year.

The BelugaXL must perform ground tests on the airfield until its departure on Saturday.

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