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Booming private jet market stretches rich buyers as climate clouds gather

Companies' bid to reduce pollution could impede business class, corporate planes

  • Calgary Herald
  • 22 Oct 2021
  • ALLISON LAMPERT
img?regionKey=G7UDV0EYUMey6XIJZxBESg%3d%3dSTEVE MARCUS/REUTERS The influx of new, affluent buyers of private planes brings some new risks for corporate plane makers, including the greater scrutiny of the industry's environmental record.

Private jet demand has boomed during the pandemic as the wealthy took control of their travel, yet the flight to luxury could have limited runway as some buyers spend beyond their means and the sector presents a prime target for climate critics.

Bidding wars for second-hand planes and premiums for early delivery of new ones dominated chatter at the National Business Aviation Association's (NBAA) show in Las Vegas last week.

It's a boon for publicly traded corporate plane makers who are increasingly selling aircraft without the discounts that had become pervasive after the industry fell from favour in the 2008-09 financial crisis.

General Dynamics Corp's Gulfstream Aerospace, Bombardier, Textron and Dassault Aviation are leaders by value of deliveries, which supplier Honeywell values at US$238 billion over the next decade.

“I'm hearing from people every day who are interested in getting into private aircraft,” said Stephen Hofer, president of Aerlex Law Group, which does aircraft transactions.

But the influx of new entrants, often wealthy individuals and families who upgraded their travel from first-class airline tickets during the pandemic, brings some new risks.

One veteran broker described a new buyer who had purchased a plane at prices he could only afford by leasing the aircraft for part of the time to other travellers. If leasing demand wanes, the buyer could have difficulty paying for the jet, warned the broker who spoke candidly on condition of anonymity.

“These are people who have never got a Us$1-million maintenance bill before,” said the broker, adding such practices are reminiscent of market activity before the 2008 crash.

Still, U.S. business jet flight hours rose 16 per cent during early October compared with October 2019, itself the strongest month for activity since 2008, according to consultancy Wingx.

And many executives, analysts, aviation lawyers and brokers are confident the rebound will continue into 2022.

“The activity rebound in 2021 is increasingly being seen as a green light for faster industry growth the next few years, not just a one-off bounce from the pandemic,” said Wingx managing director Richard Koe.

Deliveries are set to rise from around 700 a year now to roughly 900 by 2025, but still have room to grow given the peak 1,300 planes delivered in 2008, analyst Brian Foley said.

Business jet production will however be limited by supply chain capacity, added Don Dwyer, co-managing partner of aircraft brokerage Guardian Jet.

One unknown quantity is the amount of business-related travel, which is expected to take longer to recover than the leisure trips that underpin domestic U.S. airline traffic.

Vinayak Hegde, president of private aviation company Wheels Up, said he was now seeing more senior execs travelling for business.

But some companies are backing away from travel and setting “carbon budgets” to reduce pollution, in a move that would weigh on airlines' business class and corporate jets, which generate more emissions per passenger.

The industry is also battling to fend off questions over its environmental record. It hit the headlines recently when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle drew media criticism for using private jets despite their stance on climate change.

Investors in the industry want it to tackle the issue.

Kenneth Ricci, principal of Directional Aviation Capital, a private investment firm that funds and owns business aviation companies, warned that corporate aviation must take action on the environment or risk having it used against the industry.

“My biggest concern, the one I'm watching all the time is what we're going to do on sustainability,” Ricci told a lunch event at the NBAA show. “We need to be vocally ahead of this.”

Business jet firms followed airlines last week in committing to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but environmental campaigners say the pledges don't go far enough. “Business aviation is at a crossroads,” said Jo Dardenne, aviation manager for Brussels-based Transport & Environment. “If the sector wants to reach zero emissions, it should accept governments mandating the use of clean technologies and taxing wealthy private jet users to finance their deployment.”

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Space Engine Systems to test Mach 5 Spaceplane in Manitoba Canada

8c4385e8-0496-48b7-88da-a5a3833fb627

EDMONTON, Alberta, Oct. 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Regulations can be a challenge for high altitude and supersonic innovation in aerospace. SES thought it would need to go to the U.S. or the U.K. to test its innovative DASS ram jet engine. But now SES is teaming with Lynn Lake Airport in northern Manitoba to demonstrate its proprietary technology in flight – “We look forward to working with Transport Canada to get the regulatory approvals for flight this year!” said Pradeep Dass, President & CTO, Space Engine Systems.

SES will deploy its Sexbomb lift body aircraft from a stratospheric balloon that lifts it to 110,000 ft. It will free fall to Mach 1.8 where the DASS engine ram jet fires to take it to Mach 5 at 57,000 ft over the northern barren lands, before gliding back to Lynn Lake.

Subsequent testing will use the self launching Hello 1 – Experimental in standard horizontal take-off and landing, towards reaching low earth orbit with the prototype Hello-1, delivering payloads at the lowest cost per kg of all the current space services.

Applications of low-cost reliable hypersonic flight are limitless. The Hello-1 could deliver human organs for life-saving transplants from Toronto to Edmonton in 30 minutes! SES is targeting crewed missions by 2025 at costs a third of space tourism so that more Canadians will be able to join William Shatner as true astronauts! See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVqU2iMPhbI&ab_channel=NASASpaceflight

In 2002, NASA launched from Lynn Lake, Canada, the largest balloon ever flown, with a volume of 60 million cubic feet, setting a new world record that had been unbeaten since 1975. The balloon climbed to an altitude of 49.4 km, for a flight that lasted 23 hours. “Lynn Lake has been used for stratospheric balloon launches for forty years,” reports Fredrick Petrie, Managing Partner, YYL Airport Inc.

Canadian Operations — Space Engine Systems

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47 minutes ago, Kargokings said:

Space Engine Systems to test Mach 5 Spaceplane in Manitoba Canada

8c4385e8-0496-48b7-88da-a5a3833fb627

EDMONTON, Alberta, Oct. 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Regulations can be a challenge for high altitude and supersonic innovation in aerospace. SES thought it would need to go to the U.S. or the U.K. to test its innovative DASS ram jet engine. But now SES is teaming with Lynn Lake Airport in northern Manitoba to demonstrate its proprietary technology in flight – “We look forward to working with Transport Canada to get the regulatory approvals for flight this year!” said Pradeep Dass, President & CTO, Space Engine Systems.

SES will deploy its Sexbomb lift body aircraft from a stratospheric balloon that lifts it to 110,000 ft. It will free fall to Mach 1.8 where the DASS engine ram jet fires to take it to Mach 5 at 57,000 ft over the northern barren lands, before gliding back to Lynn Lake.

Subsequent testing will use the self launching Hello 1 – Experimental in standard horizontal take-off and landing, towards reaching low earth orbit with the prototype Hello-1, delivering payloads at the lowest cost per kg of all the current space services.

Applications of low-cost reliable hypersonic flight are limitless. The Hello-1 could deliver human organs for life-saving transplants from Toronto to Edmonton in 30 minutes! SES is targeting crewed missions by 2025 at costs a third of space tourism so that more Canadians will be able to join William Shatner as true astronauts! See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVqU2iMPhbI&ab_channel=NASASpaceflight

In 2002, NASA launched from Lynn Lake, Canada, the largest balloon ever flown, with a volume of 60 million cubic feet, setting a new world record that had been unbeaten since 1975. The balloon climbed to an altitude of 49.4 km, for a flight that lasted 23 hours. “Lynn Lake has been used for stratospheric balloon launches for forty years,” reports Fredrick Petrie, Managing Partner, YYL Airport Inc.

Canadian Operations — Space Engine Systems

Interesting... funny name though. :)

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New Mobility Options Coming to the Toronto Region for Passengers and Cargo

 

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A Trillion-Dollar Global Industry, Advanced Air Mobility Will Transform Transportation and Offer Live-Saving Medical Benefits

TORONTO, ONT. (Oct. 26th, 2021) – The Greater Toronto Area has what it takes to be an early
user of Advanced Air Mobility—a new concept of air transportation that moves people and
cargo between places that are not conveniently served by surface transportation—according to
a new paper released by the Canadian Advanced Air Mobility Consortium (CAAM) In the next
few years, quiet, lightweight, Zero Emission aircraft such as electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing
(eVTOL) passenger aircraft and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS, also known as drones)
will transform mobility in the Greater Toronto Area for commuters and cargo.

The paper, “Advanced Air Mobility Comes to Toronto: Exciting Opportunities to Improve Urban
Mobility of People, Goods and Services”(Summary here) was prepared by NEXA Advisors, a
financial and economic advisory company in Washington, D.C. The research anticipates that
Toronto will first deploy Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) in the medical field, transporting patients,
medications, defibrillators, blood, organs, PPE, and radioisotopes for cancer treatment. Since
AAM aircraft take off more rapidly than helicopters, they will more quickly transport patients
suffering life-threatening emergencies in rural areas of the Golden Horseshoe to the closest
trauma center. Moreover, the healthcare system will save a great deal of money using AAM
aircraft, given the lower cost to purchase, operate, and maintain them, in comparison to
helicopters.

AAM will open up new forms of regional air mobility: convenient, zero emission flights between
city pairs whose distances are currently not commercially viable for airlines. Passengers will hop
on quick, quiet flights from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and Billy Bishop Toronto City
Airports to places like Kitchener, Peterborough, Barrie, Buffalo, Rochester, Detroit, Pittsburgh,
Syracuse, and Cleveland.

In terms of traffic reduction, strategic use of AAM aircraft for delivery can remove thousands of
trucks from the roads, trucks that often block entire lanes in rush-hour traffic. Cargo as diverse as heavy freight, depot-to-depot, retail packages, and just-in-time deliveries can be delivered in
a variety of efficient aircraft traveling above traffic. This would result in immense savings in
carbon emissions, noise, and wear and tear on the roads. The new aircraft are still in
development and testing, with some being certified by 2024.

Stephen Lund, CEO, Toronto Global, said, “The introduction of a sustainable, equitable, and
profitable Advanced Air Mobility industry in Canada and in the Toronto Region will create
innovative solutions to existing environmental, infrastructure, and economic challenges. We
welcome CAAM’s paper, and its recommendations, as we seek to leverage this innovative
technology and pioneer new opportunities for advanced air mobility to create better outcomes
for the Toronto Region.”

JR Hammond, Executive Director of CAAM, said, “Advanced Air Mobility is the next exponential
leap in aviation. CAAM, as the national voice for the future of zero emission aviation, is bringing
the knowledge and expertise to the greater Toronto region in helping craft the equitable,
inclusive and sustainable air transportation of our future.”

The research pointed to several factors determining Toronto’s likelihood of being an early AAM
user: high GDP, extreme road congestion, world class medical facilities, robust tech, strong
financial and STEM educational sectors, and a flourishing aerospace industry already in place.
As a next step, CAAM has retained NEXA Advisors to prepare an Economic Impact Analysis in the
coming weeks to determine the number of full-time permanent jobs AAM will bring to the
Greater Toronto Area, as well as tax revenues and new overall economic activity. Based on
similar studies, Toronto will likely see thousands of new jobs, hundreds of millions in new tax
revenues, and billions in new overall economic activity between now and 2045.

About CAAM

Canadian Advanced Air Mobility (CAAM) is a Federal Not For Profit organization that acts as the
national catalyst for the new Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry in Canada. CAAM has
partnered with over 50+ organizations including industry, academia, private capital and all three
levels of government to launch projects aimed at getting the AAM industry off the ground. Our goal is to create a national AAM strategy for Canada while implementing regional revenue
generating use cases. CAAM was founded in partnership with Canada’s leading federal research
and development organization, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).

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  • 3 weeks later...

https://www.slashgear.com/spinlaunch-kinetic-launch-system-celebrates-a-successful-test-flight-12699130/

SpinLaunch kinetic launch system celebrates a successful test flight

The thing that has been common for every satellite put into orbit in the history of spaceflight is that they’ve all used rockets. However, the need for rockets is changing with a company called SpinLaunch celebrating the first successful test launch for its kinetic launch system. The launch system doesn’t use a rocket and is zero emissions.

 

It uses a massive accelerator larger than the Statue of Liberty powered by an electric drive to throw payloads into orbit. SpinLaunch says its creation could reduce fuel consumption by a factor of four while costing ten times less than similar launches using traditional rockets. Another massive benefit is that the system would be able to put multiple payloads into orbit each day.

The test flight did not put the payload into orbit. The current test device is a Suborbital Accelerator featuring an upright vacuum chamber shaped like a disc and a carbon fiber tether. Together, the vacuum chamber and the tether spin projectiles at speeds of up to 5000 mph. Once the payload is accelerated fully, the tether is released, throwing the projectile out of the launcher, into the atmosphere, and into orbit.

A larger accelerator will be required to place payloads into orbit, known as the L100 Orbital Mass Accelerator. It would operate similarly to the smaller suborbital accelerator but will be able to place satellites up to 440 pounds into orbit. Accelerating something to 5000 mph, which is many times the speed of sound, means that electronics able to survive 10,000g are required. However, testing has proven satellite systems are capable of surviving that type of acceleration.

SpinLaunch conducted its first test of the suborbital launch on October 22. The test was conducted at a location in Spaceport America in New Mexico. The prototype vehicle launched during the test flight did reach supersonic speeds and was later recovered to be reused. Additional flight tests will occur in 2022 utilizing different vehicles at different launch velocities. Currently, SpinLaunch plans to put the first customer satellites into orbit in late 2024.

With the push towards being green, an emissions-free space launch technology will prove popular. SpinLaunch says in the future, it will be able to launch entire constellations of satellites into what it describes as the most mission-critical layers of the atmosphere. The company also mentions in a future where large numbers of people are traveling into space, there will be a need to launch structures, equipment, and supplies.

That statement seemingly suggests SpinLaunch sees a future where it will be able to launch objects larger than 440 pounds satellites. Development of the launch system began in 2015. Two years after beginning the project, SpinLaunch’s accelerator set a record for the fastest rotational tip speeds. However, the most significant milestone reached in the project so far was the launch last month.

It’s unclear how much larger the orbital-class accelerator needs to be. The suborbital accelerator stands 50.4 meters tall, and undoubtedly the orbital-class accelerator would be significantly larger. To put the size in perspective, the Statue of Liberty stands 46 meters tall. SpinLaunch points out that its suborbital system also provides long-term value as a satellite qualification facility.

 

 

 
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F.O.D. in space

Russia test blamed for space junk threatening space station

Marcia Dunn Published Monday, November 15, 2021 1:20PM ESTLast Updated Monday, November 15, 2021 3:21PM EST
International Space Station above the Earth

International Space Station above the Earth on May 23, 2011. (AP /NASA, Paolo Nespoli)

 

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. -- A Russian weapons test created more than 1,500 pieces of space junk that is now threatening the seven astronauts aboard the International Space Station, U.S. officials said Monday.

The State Department confirmed that the debris was from an old Russian satellite destroyed in Monday's anti-satellite weapons test.

“It was dangerous. It was reckless. It was irresponsible,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price.

Earlier Monday, the four Americans, one German and two Russians on board were forced to seek shelter in their docked capsules because of the debris.

At least 1,500 pieces of the destroyed satellite were sizable enough to show up on radar, Price said. But countless other fragments were too small to track, yet still posed a danger to the space station as well as orbiting satellites.

“We are going to continue to make very clear that we won't tolerate this kind of activity,” Price said.

NASA Mission Control said the heightened threat might continue for another couple days and continue to interrupt the astronauts' science research and other work. Four of the seven crew members arrived at the orbiting outpost Thursday night.

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, who's midway through a yearlong mission, called it “a crazy but well-coordinated day” as he bid Mission Control good night.

“It was certainly a great way to bond as a crew, starting off with our very first work day in space,” he said.

The U.S. Space Command said it was tracking the field of orbiting debris. NASA had made no comment by mid-afternoon.

Earlier in the day, the Russian Space Agency said via Twitter that the astronauts were ordered into their docked capsules, in case they had to make a quick getaway. Later, the crew was “routinely performing operations,” the agency noted.

“Friends, everything is regular with us!” tweeted the space station's commander, Russian Anton Shkaplerov.

The cloud of debris seemed to pose a threat on each passing orbit - or every 1 1/2 hours. German astronaut Matthias Maurer was told to move his sleeping bag from the European lab to a safer location for the night.

Until Monday, some 20,000 pieces of space junk were being tracked. including old and broken satellites. Last week, a fragment from an old Chinese satellite - the target of a missile-strike test in 2007 - threatened to come uncomfortably close. While it later was dismissed as a risk, NASA had the space station move anyway.

------

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Overview

DART is the first-ever mission dedicated to investigating and demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection by changing an asteroid’s motion in space through kinetic impact. This method will have DART deliberately collide with a target asteroid—which poses no threat to Earth— in order to change its speed and path. DART’s target is the binary, near-Earth asteroid system Didymos, composed of the roughly 780-meter (2,560-foot) -diameter “Didymos” and the smaller, approximately 160-meter (530-foot)-size “Dimorphos,” which orbits Didymos. DART will impact Dimorphos to change its orbit within the binary system, and the DART Investigation Team will compare the results of DART’s kinetic impact with Dimorphos to highly detailed computer simulations of kinetic impacts on asteroids. Doing so will evaluate the effectiveness of this mitigation approach and assess how best to apply it to future planetary defense scenarios, as well as how accurate the computer simulations are and how well they reflect the behavior of a real asteroid.

Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) (nasa.gov)

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I hope this does not turn out to be "The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men" 😀

Nov 24, 2021
RELEASE 21-161
 

NASA, SpaceX Launch DART: First Test Mission to Defend Planet Earth

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), the world’s first full-scale mission to test technology for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards, launched Wednesday at 1:21 a.m. EST on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

 

Just one part of NASA’s larger planetary defense strategy, DART – built and managed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland – will impact a known asteroid that is not a threat to Earth. Its goal is to slightly change the asteroid’s motion in a way that can be accurately measured using ground-based telescopes.

 

DART will show that a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it – a method of deflection called kinetic impact. The test will provide important data to help better prepare for an asteroid that might pose an impact hazard to Earth, should one ever be discovered. LICIACube, a CubeSat riding with DART and provided by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), will be released prior to DART’s impact to capture images of the impact and the resulting cloud of ejected matter. Roughly four years after DART’s impact, ESA’s (European Space Agency) Hera project will conduct detailed surveys of both asteroids, with particular focus on the crater left by DART’s collision and a precise determination of Dimorphos’ mass.

 

“DART is turning science fiction into science fact and is a testament to NASA’s proactivity and innovation for the benefit of all,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “In addition to all the ways NASA studies our universe and our home planet, we’re also working to protect that home, and this test will help prove out one viable way to protect our planet from a hazardous asteroid should one ever be discovered that is headed toward Earth.”

 

At 2:17 a.m., DART separated from the second stage of the rocket. Minutes later, mission operators received the first spacecraft telemetry data and started the process of orienting the spacecraft to a safe position for deploying its solar arrays. About two hours later, the spacecraft completed the successful unfurling of its two, 28-foot-long, roll-out solar arrays. They will power both the spacecraft and NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster – Commercial ion engine, one of several technologies being tested on DART for future application on space missions.

 

“At its core, DART is a mission of preparedness, and it is also a mission of unity,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This international collaboration involves DART, ASI’s LICIACube, and ESA’s Hera investigations and science teams, which will follow up on this groundbreaking space mission.”

 

DART’s one-way trip is to the Didymos asteroid system, which comprises a pair of asteroids. DART’s target is the moonlet, Dimorphos, which is approximately 530 feet (160 meters) in diameter. The moonlet orbits Didymos, which is approximately 2,560 feet (780 meters) in diameter.

 

Since Dimorphos orbits Didymos at much a slower relative speed than the pair orbits the Sun, the result of DART’s kinetic impact within the binary system can be measured much more easily than a change in the orbit of a single asteroid around the Sun.

 

“We have not yet found any significant asteroid impact threat to Earth, but we continue to search for that sizable population we know is still to be found. Our goal is to find any possible impact, years to decades in advance, so it can be deflected with a capability like DART that is possible with the technology we currently have,” said Lindley Johnson, planetary defense officer at NASA Headquarters. “DART is one aspect of NASA’s work to prepare Earth should we ever be faced with an asteroid hazard. In tandem with this test, we are preparing the Near-Earth Object Surveyor Mission, an space-based infrared telescope scheduled for launch later this decade and designed to expedite our ability to discover and characterize the potentially hazardous asteroids and comets that come within 30 million miles of Earth’s orbit.”

 

The spacecraft will intercept the Didymos system between Sept. 26 and Oct. 1, 2022, intentionally slamming into Dimorphos at roughly 4 miles per second (6 kilometers per second). Scientists estimate the kinetic impact will shorten Dimorphos’ orbit around Didymos by several minutes. Researchers will precisely measure that change using telescopes on Earth. Their results will validate and improve scientific computer models critical to predicting the effectiveness of the kinetic impact as a reliable method for asteroid deflection.

 

“It is an indescribable feeling to see something you’ve been involved with since the ‘words on paper’ stage become real and launched into space,” said Andy Cheng, one of the DART investigation leads at Johns Hopkins APL and the individual who came up with the idea of DART. “This is just the end of the first act, and the DART investigation and engineering teams have much work to do over the next year preparing for the main event ─ DART’s kinetic impact on Dimorphos. But tonight we celebrate!”

 

DART’s single instrument, the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation (DRACO), will turn on a week from now and provide first images from the spacecraft. DART will continue to travel just outside of Earth’s orbit around the Sun for the next 10 months until Didymos and Dimorphos will be a relatively close 6.8 million miles (11 million kilometers) from Earth.

 

A sophisticated guidance, navigation, and control system, working together with algorithms called Small-body Maneuvering Autonomous Real Time Navigation (SMART Nav), will enable the DART spacecraft to identify and distinguish between the two asteroids. The system will then direct the spacecraft toward Dimorphos. This process will all occur within roughly an hour of impact.

 

Johns Hopkins APL manages the DART mission for NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office as a project of the agency’s Planetary Missions Program Office. NASA provides support for the mission from several centers, including the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, Johnson Space Center in Houston, Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, and Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The launch is managed by NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX is the launch services provider for the DART mission.

 

For more information about the DART mission, visit:

 

https://www.nasa.gov/dartmission

 

-end-

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