Tests in preparation for scaled mock-up test flights next spring went very well this week at Jack Garland Airport according to the head of Swiss Space Systems (S3) USA Robert Feierbach
The company announced on June 26th that it would test and launch sub-orbital satellites in the development phase of a reusable suborbital shuttle.
During the week-long flight test campaign, various helicopter flight profiles were successfully performed in order to evaluate the flight systems, which will ultimately be integrated into a reduced scale mock-up of the SOAR suborbital shuttle. The fully-equipped mock-up and flight-tested jig system will be used in the spring of 2015 for captive flights from a helicopter. These tests will be helicopter-carried and eventually drop from an altitude of nearly 5,000 m / 16,500 ft. in order to allow its autonomous flight approach and landing with monitoring and eventual control from the ground, if needed. The results of the preparatory SOAR shuttle drop-test flights conducted this week in Canada are very encouraging, according to Robert Feierbach, Head of S3 Americas.
This first phase presented a good opportunity for Canadore College’s Aviation Campus experts and North Bay Jack Garland Airport (YYB) staff to meet the various S3 engineers and operational staff – with whom they had been working remotely over the past few months – to perform a full-scale rehearsal before the forthcoming spring flight tests.
“As a team, we had the opportunity to successfully test our telecommunication and guidance systems, and to collaborate closely with the Canadore College and North Bay Jack Garland Airport (YYB) teams. This bodes well prior to the forthcoming drop-test flights aimed to take place next spring,” said Feierbach.
“This is a promising spaceflight-related collaboration starting on a solid base, and we already look forward to contributing to the success of the second phase of this drop-test flight campaign, and to S3’s SOAR project in general,” said George Burton, Canadore College’s President and CEO. “These operational activities will enable Canadore to strengthen our technical and logistical expertise in flight test operations with an international scope, as this one demands.”
Mayor Al McDonald says that the city is looking forward to hosting S3 again in the spring after such a successful trial.
“More than just Canadore College, the whole region of North Bay benefits from this collaboration with S3, which is long-term focused and will help us in our positioning as a future player in the rapidly growing commercial space sector,” said McDonald. “The second phase of the SOAR drop-test campaign holds a lot of excitement, and we appreciate the continued great work and joint collaboration. We are proud to be able to showcase the opportunities North Bay has to offer to the Canadian and international space industry.”