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Airbus tests Spaceplane demonstrator

written by australianaviation.com.au | June 4, 2014
A captured video frame image of the Airbus spaceplane demonstrator suspended below the AS350 shortly before being released. (Airbus)
A captured video frame image of the Airbus spaceplane demonstrator suspended below the AS350 shortly before being released. (Airbus)

Airbus has announced it has performed a test drop of a quarter-scale spaceplane demonstrator aircraft.

The test drops from an AS350B3e helicopter saw the demonstrator dropped from 3,000 metres and piloted remotely to simulate conditions in the end-of-flight phase after a return from space.

The quarter-scale demonstrator used in the tests was built in partnership with HOPE Technik and Airbus Group Innovations, while the test flight was supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board and was conducted over the South China Sea with a support fleet of seven ships.

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