Shannon Airport landed the rarest of airplanes during yesterday’s gale force winds. The gale provided perfect conditions for a rare sighting of the Airbus Beluga XL which travelled especially from Toulouse in France to Shannon Airport to undertake cross wind training in the skies above the airport.
The plane, which has aptly earned its name as it is shaped and painted to look like a Beluga whale, took to the skies at 11am for a two-hour cross wind training session before returning to France.
An unusual visitor to @ShannonAirport today: an @Airbus Beluga — so called after the whale it resembles. It’s a super transporter — less than a dozen have been manufactured. Airbus says the Beluga offers a unique way to transport over-sized air cargo through the world. @rtenews pic.twitter.com/ViNP9SMHvA
— Paschal Sheehy (@PaschalSheehy) May 20, 2021
Said Niall Maloney, Airport Operations and Commercial Director, Shannon Airport: “Today’s bad weather created a great opportunity to get real flight experience in windy conditions. It isn’t the first time that Shannon has facilitated such training, in fact the majority of all new aircraft models since the 1970’s have used Shannon at some time specifically for cross wind component training. It is true what they say every cloud, or in this case gale, has a silver lining.”