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Swiss Space Systems Secures A-340 Airliner for Parabolic Flights

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
April 13, 2016
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The Airbus A340-300 aircraft registered as 9H-TQM, to be painted very soon to the S3 "Black" livery. (Credit: S3)

The Airbus A340-300 aircraft registered as 9H-TQM, to be painted very soon to the S3 “Black” livery. (Credit: S3)

LISBON, Portugal (S3 PR) — Aerospace company Swiss Space Systems (S3) announces the completion of its Airbus A340-300 acquisition, in order to commercially operate ZeroG flights in 2016 and 2017, a world premiere.

Those parabolic flights will offer an experience of weightlessness similar to what astronauts feel during a space flight, at the most affordable price ever seen. The flight control system of the Airbus A340-300 aircraft relies on fly-by-wire technology. This feature will provide an unprecedented accuracy to the flight parabolas, allowing S3 to become a world leader in the field of high-precision microgravity services.

Sparfell & Partners, S3’s “Preferred aviation partner”

A common vision of the future of “Space for All,” along with a common passion for aviation, have enabled the collaboration of S3 and Sparfell & Partners. Sparfell & Partners was given a mandate from S3 to negotiate the best conditions for the acquisition and financing of the aircraft. Philip G. Queffelec, Chairman of Sparfell & Partners, welcomes this partnership by quoting Aristotle: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.

The unique feeling of microgravity offered to a larger public

S3 aims at providing the public at large with an opportunity to experience this unique feeling, by offering ZeroG flights at the most affordable prices ever made available world-wide. Premium and VIP zone customers will be awarded an exclusive S3 watch branded by one of the most prestigious Swiss watchmakers, making their ZeroG experience onboard even more exclusive. The Airbus A340-300 will accommodate around 70 passengers for a 90-minute-flight, for a total of 15 parabolas. Each parabola will provide 20 to 25 seconds of weightlessness.

The S3 ZeroG aircraft will also provide a platform for high-precision microgravity experiments. The targeted customers will be institutional (space agencies, universities…) or private companies conducting research in the aerospace industry.

The outstanding operational capability of Hi Fly, soon at the service of S3

Hi Fly is a Portugal-based airline company, operating a fleet of long haul aircraft worldwide. S3 will be supported by Hi Fly in the operational (CAMO – Continuing Airworthiness Management Organization) and regulatory domains (AOC – Air Operator Certificate). The commercial operation of ZeroG flights under the status of an airline company, will be a world premiere. Paulo Mirpuri, President and CEO of Hi Fly added: “Our company is most honored to have been selected by S3 and is delighted to participate in the ZeroG project. Innovation, quality and safety are part of Hi Fly DNA, and this has played an important role in this joint venture. We really look forward to take this project on to the next level.”

Pascal Jaussi, Founder and CEO of Swiss Space Systems, declared: “Our ultimate vision is to democratize access to space, through our reusable launcher program. Well before our launcher becomes a reality, the ZeroG experience onboard our Airbus aircraft will offer each and everyone an opportunity to become an astronaut for a day”.

About Swiss Space Systems

Swiss Space Systems Holding SA is a Swiss company founded in 2012 in Payerne, Vaud, Switzerland which supervises the activities of its subsidiary companies. The objective of the S3 Group is to develop, build, certify and operate suborbital shuttles for small satellite deployment, up to 250kg, and to introduce the world’s first wide-body zero gravity flight experience world-wide.

About Sparfell & Partners

Founded in Geneva, Sparfell & Partners benefits from more than 70 years of combined experience in the aviation sector. Specialized in sales and acquisition of airliners, private jets and helicopters, the quality of the service Sparfell & Partners provide relies on a real commitment to their customers.

About Hi Fly

Established in 2005 in Portugal, Hi Fly completed the process to be certified as an airline company in 2006. They have been granted an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) by INAC (Portuguese civil aviation authority). Hi Fly complies with all EU – OPS (EU regulations setting a standard in terms of safety, passengers and cargo procedures) and EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) requirements, the most stringent worldwide. Hi Fly completed the IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) certification in September 2011. Hi Fly Group has operational bases in Portugal and Malta.