Giant BelugaXL 'flying whale' aircraft which is one of world's largest planes snapped in skies above Sheffield

This stunning shot shows one of the world’s largest planes, the Airbus BelugaXL, soaring above Sheffield.

By Robert Cumber
Monday, 9th May 2022, 12:39 pm

The mammoth aircraft, dubbed the ‘flying whale’ was captured by Tom Griffin passing over Longley Park on the morning of Thursday, May 5.

It is one of just six such ‘super transporters’ worldwide, measuring 63.1 metres long and 18.9 metres high, with a 60.3-metre wingspan.

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This giant Airbus BelugaXL aircraft was photographed by Tom Griffin flying over the Longley Park area of Sheffield

It can often be seen high above Sheffield on its way to Hawarden Airport in Broughton, Wales, which is one of 11 destinations across Europe between which it flies.

The mammoth aircraft has a maximum payload of 51 tonnes, a 4,000km range and is capable of carrying two Airbus A350 XWB wings.

Its distinctive shape makes it hard to miss but it’s not easy to get a clear photo of the aircraft travelling so high above Sheffield.

The world’s biggest plane, the Antonov An-225, which was a regular visitor to Doncaster Sheffield Airport, was recently destroyed by Russian troops during the war in Ukraine.