Airbus Helicopter Southeast Asia has played a key role in a test flight for sister company Airbus Defence & Space’s SpacePlane demonstrator.
The quarter-scale demonstrator was given a test flight over the South China Sea in May to validate the dynamic flight conditions encountered in the end-of-flight phase following a return from space.
After being winched from the barge by an AS350 B3eEcureuil helicopter operated by Airbus Helicopters Southeast Asia, the SpacePlane demonstrator was released at a height of around 3,000 metres. It was then piloted from the barge as it made its return to the ground, ending its flight at sea before being picked up as planned a few hours later.
The tests, supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board, took place 100 kilometers off the coast of Singapore and involved a fleet of seven ships.
The demonstrator used in the tests was built in partnership with HOPE Technik and Airbus Group Innovations, the corporate network of research centres of Airbus Group.