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A330neo first flight

Watch te first A330neo make its maiden flight over south-western France. The aircraft took off at 9:57am local time on 19 October from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport and was powered by state-of-the-art Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 turbofans.

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25 October, 2017



Valor begins ground-constrained testing

The Bell V280 Valor prototype aircraft has successfully begun its restrained ground run test operations. The aircraft will continue ground run testing at the Bell Helicopter Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas where it will undergo a series of functional tests running all aircraft systems and flight.

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11 October, 2017


 

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With Airbus announcing that its CityAirbus urban air mobility demonstrator is on track for its maiden flight in 2018, and Velocopter test flying its technology in Dubai recently, how soon do you expect to see such autonomous 'flying taxis' in everyday use?

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Successful test for satellite dispenser structure

Airbus has successfully tested the dispenser structure that will hold twin satellites GRACE-FO (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On) as they are launched.

 

The dispenser was developed by Airbus in Spain, a specialist in multi-payload structures for multiple launches, for the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam. The structure was developed in less than a year, in classical configuration. It features a central carbon fiber cylinder with the satellites held in place by four hold-down and release mechanisms, each with springs, connectors, and the necessary harnesses. The test looked at mechanical and electrical compatibility between the satellites, the dispenser, and the launcher.

The satellites are being developed and manufactured by Airbus (Friedrichshafen) on behalf of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Based in Pasadena, California and managed by Caltech on behalf of NASA, JPL will partner with GFZ to send both GRACE-FO research satellites into a polar orbit at an altitude of around 500km, 220km apart. This is a follow-on to the GRACE mission, which has been successfully operating since 2002. Both satellites will continually take precise measurements of their separation distance, which changes depending on the Earth’s gravity, thus enabling scientists to map the Earth’s gravitational fields.

 

Written by Michael Jones


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