Archive for the ‘AVIATION’ Category

L’Hélicoptère Par Hermès

May 5, 2009

Falcon Aviation Services has received its first “Hélicoptère par Hermès” on Sunday at a ceremony held in Abu Dhabi.

Priced at $6 million, the EC135 helicopter is created by a collaboration between Eurocopter and Hermès, the French designer of luxury goods.

“This helicopter illustrates a fusion between design and technology, where every detail has been created for VIP and business travellers,” said Salem Al Kayoumi, FAS’s vice-chairman.

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Your personal Space Shuttle: All it takes is $42 million

December 18, 2008

Of the thousands of “Once in a lifetime opportunity” ads you see on television and read in the papers, this one could actually be it. It’s not every day that a person gets a chance to own a Space Shuttle, but NASA is offering that to schools, science museums and “other appropriate organizations.” With the aim of generating funds for future missions, the space agency is willing to sell off Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour once they retire in September 2010.

NASA says the orbiters will not be disassembled for transportation or storage, and will cost $42 million to own. Add another $6 million for ferrying the spaceship atop a modified Boeing 747 to the nearest airport, and the total cost works out to $48 million. But the shuttles will be without engines, so if you’re serious about getting into space, be prepared to shell out another $400,000 to $800,000 for the engines.

XCOR Aerospace Offers Space Flight At A Discount

December 3, 2008

The first entrant into any marketplace has the benefit of being able to set the price for the service and those that follow often need to offer a lower price. That’s the case in the space tourism game, now that XCOR Aerospace is offering tickets for suborbital rides at less than half the price of main competitor Virgin Galactic. XCOR Aerospace is partnering with tour developer and operator Jules Klar, co-creator of the 1960s-era “Europe on $5 a Day” guides, to sell rides aboard its Lynx spaceship for $95,000. The two-seat Lynx craft is under development at XCOR’s Mojave Desert base. Lynx passengers fly in the cockpit next to Richard Searfoss, who made three spaceflights for NASA. The company plans to be able to make up to four flights a day. Test flights are set to begin in 2010 with first paid flights as soon as early 2011.

Flying with the Experts

November 25, 2008

Flexjet, the private aviation company, is providing its clients more than just transportation this holiday season. Anyone who purchases a Flexjet 25 Expert Guide Edition fractional ownership jet card by December 15 will have the chance to visit a museum with art consultant Barbara Guggenheim, learn winning strategies from an expert poker player, or embark on a two-day fishing excursion with fly fisherman Mike Lawson. The Flexjet card system provides clients access to a fleet of planes through a variety of shares, determined by the number of hours per year they expect to fly. There are six Expert Guide Editions including an epicurean package that furnishes buyers with a VIP invitation to the Pebble Beach Food and Wine Event, April 16-19, 2009, where the card owner and a guest can enjoy access to award-winning chefs and vintners, private cooking demonstrations, and invitation-only receptions. The three-day event concludes with an intimate cocktail party and meal with the event’s top chefs. Flexjet 25 Expert Guide Edition cards start at around $110,000.

SkyBike Takes Flight on the Road and in the Air

November 14, 2008

Despite a plethora of innovations in aircraft and automobiles in the past decade, the flying car has yet to take off. But Samson Motorworks, based in California, is hoping to change that with its sleek, three-wheel design that was unveiled this summer at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the aviation world’s biggest experimental aircraft show. With its telescoping wings, the SkyBike incorporates all the controls and instruments required for either driving to the airport or flying from it. It will fly at speeds up to 140 mph for more than 200 miles, the company says, or drive on the freeway at speeds up to 95 mph. Standard equipment includes a luxury leather interior, automatic leaning in turns, and a ballistic parachute recovery system for aerial emergencies. A bulletproof cockpit is optional. So far the machine exists only in cyber form, but the company is working on a scale model to be used for wind tunnel and flight testing.