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Virgin Orbit’s response to the first B747-based satellite launch attempt

Orion sent a photo of Earth from its orbit on the sixth day of its voyage to the moon.

Last night, a satellite launch from British soil made history by becoming the first to reach space, although it was unable to achieve its targeted orbit.

After successfully taking off from the runway at Spaceport Cornwall – which just a few weeks ago was transformed from a mere slab of empty cement at a commercial airport to the world’s newest space launch operations center – and travelling to the designated drop zone, Cosmic Girl, the customized 747 that serves as the LauncherOne system’s carrier aircraft, successfully released the rocket.

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Virgin Orbit wants to be the ‘Uber for satellites’. Its cost-effectiveness is explained.(Opens in a new browser tab)

The rocket then ignited its engines, quickly going hypersonic and successfully reaching space. The flight then continued through successful stage separation and ignition of the second stage. However, at some point during the firing of the rocket’s second stage engine and with the rocket travelling at a speed of more than 11,000 miles per hour, the system experienced an anomaly, ending the mission prematurely.

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Though the mission did not achieve its final orbit, by reaching space and achieving numerous significant first-time achievements, it represents an important step forward. The effort behind the flight brought together new partnerships and integrated collaboration from a wide range of partners, including the UK Space Agency, the Royal Air Force, the Civil Aviation Authority, the US Federal Aviation Administration, the National Reconnaissance Office, and more, and demonstrated that space launch is achievable from UK soil.

Out of five LauncherOne missions carrying payloads for private companies and governmental agencies, this is the first to fall short of delivering its payloads to their precise target orbit.

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Aerospace

Which is bigger 777x or 787 aircraft ?

Which is bigger 777x or 787 aircraft ?

The 777X is a new series of the Boeing 777 family and is designed to be larger and more efficient than its predecessor. It features two variants: the 777-8 and the 777-9, being the larger of the two.

The Boeing 777X emerges as the larger sibling within the Boeing family, representing a significant leap forward in both size and efficiency. Comprising two variants, the 777-8 and the 777-9, the latter takes the crown as the larger of the two. With its expansive fuselage and impressive wingspan, the 777X is tailored for long-range journeys and boasts a substantial passenger capacity.

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On the other hand, the Boeing 787, affectionately known as the Dreamliner, occupies a niche in the market as a smaller yet formidable aircraft designed for medium to long-range flights. Its distinguishing feature lies in its composite fuselage, a technological marvel that renders it lighter and more fuel-efficient compared to conventional aluminum counterparts. The Boeing 777X is larger than the Boeing 787 aircraft.

When it comes to passenger capacity, the 777-9 reigns supreme, typically accommodating a sizeable contingent of 400-425 passengers in its standard configuration. In contrast, the 787, with its more modest dimensions, typically carries between 240-290 passengers, depending on the variant and layout.

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One of the remarkable innovations introduced with the 777X is its folding wingtips, a feature designed to address the logistical challenges of accommodating such a large aircraft in conventional airport gates. These folding wingtips enable the 777X to retract its wings, allowing it to fit into gates designed for smaller aircraft while still reaping the benefits of an extended wingspan during flight, thereby enhancing fuel efficiency and operational flexibility

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Aerospace

China Secures Production Certificate for Mass Production of Pilotless eVTOL Aircraft

China Secures Production Certificate for Mass Production of Pilotless eVTOL Aircraft
EHang

The first passenger-carrying pilotless electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in the world, the EH216-S, has received the Production Certificate for its eVTOL aircraft from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

This is a significant milestone for EHang Holdings Limited, the leading UAM technology platform company in the world. This outstanding accomplishment is another big step towards mass manufacturing for the eVTOL aircraft and the ensuing commercial operations, building on the ground-breaking acquisition of the Type Certificate and the Standard Airworthiness Certificate for the EH216-S.

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The PC is a crucial certificate that the aircraft maker receives from the CAAC, the country’s aviation authority. By obtaining this certificate, EHang has demonstrated that it has set up a quality management system for mass production that satisfies the airworthiness regulation standards set forth by the CAAC, and the company has been given permission to continue producing mass quantities.

It is also a strong guarantee of the calibre of the goods made by EHang. Raw materials, supplier management, manufacturing organisation, production quality control, aircraft pre-delivery test, after-sales repair and maintenance, etc. are all included in the mass production quality management system for the EH216-S.

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To ensure that every aircraft and its components that roll off the production line strictly adhere to the approved type design and safety requirements, the system sets clear guidelines and documentation for every step in the production procedure. This ensures comprehensive traceability and safety control.

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Four Airbus A380 Superjumbos lined up to be scrapped

EASA Proposes AD for Airbus A380 Wing Rib Foot Cracks

In a strategic move aimed at reclaiming valuable resources from the iconic Airbus A380 aircraft, VAS Aero Services and Dr. Peters Group have announced a significant collaboration.

This partnership marks a milestone in aviation logistics and aftermarket services, with four of these colossal planes slated for teardown and redistribution of used serviceable material (USM).

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The venture between VAS Aero Services, renowned for its expertise in aircraft dismantlement, and Dr. Peters Group, a prominent Germany-based investment fund management firm, underscores a commitment to sustainable aviation practices. This isn’t their first foray into scrapping A380s; their successful partnership has already seen the dismantlement of these aircraft, making them pioneers in this niche.

Under the agreement, the latest consignment brings the tally to eight A380s entrusted to VAS by Dr. Peters Group. Managing Director Christian Mailly of Dr. Peters Group emphasized the trust placed in VAS, citing their unparalleled capabilities in dismantlement and aftermarket sales network. It’s a strategic move in response to the growing demand for quality USM parts, particularly with the resurgence in reliance on the A380.

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Notably, the teardown process will be carried out at various locations, optimizing the positioning of harvested parts to cater to different markets. While some parts will be positioned in Europe to support operators in the region and the Middle East, others will remain in the Asia-Pacific region. This meticulous strategy ensures efficient access to spare parts, benefiting MROs and airlines across these markets.

The decision to retire these A380s comes at a time when operators are reassessing fleet strategies amidst evolving market dynamics. Despite initial plans for quick retirement due to the emergence of more fuel-efficient alternatives, factors such as a rebound in long-haul demand and delays in new widebody deliveries have prompted operators to reconsider. The A380, with its unique capacity and capabilities, presents a practical solution for short-term capacity management.

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