BUSINESS AVIATION

Advanced Space Announces CAPSTONE Separation To Start Solo Journey Mission to Moon for NASA

Advanced Space | July 05, 2022 | Read time : 1 min

Advanced Space
Advanced Space LLC., a leading commercial space tech company pioneering the pathfinder mission, spacecraft separated from Rocket Lab's Photon upper stage after its launch on June 28. The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment spacecraft has orbited Earth while raising its position to be thrusted beyond low-Earth orbit on a trajectory to the Moon. 

Advanced Space and Terran Orbital teams will take over operations for CAPSTONE as the spacecraft bids farewell to its ride from Rocket Lab. CAPSTONE™ is owned and operated by Advanced Space on behalf of NASA. It will be one of the first CubeSats, or small satellites, to fly in cislunar space – the orbital area near and around the Moon – and demonstrate an innovative spacecraft-to-spacecraft navigation technology.

"Our Advanced Space team has been prepared and ready to manage and navigate the CAPSTONE mission for months. I have been in the industry for over 40 years, and to see a spacecraft of this size perform this type of lunar mission demonstrates how technological advancements have made possible this class of mission to succeed. It is extraordinary to contribute to the industry in this groundbreaking manner."

Thomas Gardner, Advanced Space director of engineering and the CAPSTONE program manager

The microwave-sized spacecraft, built and designed by Terran Orbital, will now use its own propulsion and the Sun's gravity to reach the Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit around the Moon. The NRHO is the orbit planned for NASA's Gateway, a lunar space station that is part of the Artemis Program.

"Getting to this point, we have learned a tremendous amount already, and the time has come to execute our unique expertise for this monumental Moon mission for NASA," said Bradley Cheetham, Advanced Space chief executive officer and CAPSTONE principal investigator. "Over eleven years ago, we started Advanced Space with a purpose to enable the sustainable exploration, development, and settlement of space. CAPSTONE represents the manifestation of our focus on building programs and technologies that will enable this vision for the future."  

About Advanced Space
Advanced Space supports the sustainable exploration, development, and settlement of space through software and services that leverage unique subject matter expertise to improve the fundamentals of spaceflight. Advanced Space is dedicated to improving flight dynamics technology development and expedited turn-key missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Learn more about what Advanced Space is creating; check out the CAPSTONE mission page.


Spotlight

Continuing the trend of major fractional aircraft ownership companies establishing their own FBOs at popular destinations, Cleveland-based Flexjet, the second largest provider in the U.S. recently announced it will open its fourth such facility, at Dallas Love Field. To see what they have to offer, we recently visited the Flexjet terminal at New York City-area business aviation hub, Westchester County Airport.


Other News
DEFENSE AND SPACE, COMMERCIAL AVIATION

Starburst Ventures Launches New Pre-Seed & Seed Fund Focusing on Aerospace & Defense Innovation

Starburst Ventures | September 22, 2022

Starburst Ventures, the first venture capital fund dedicated to investing across aviation, space, and defense, today announced the launch of its new early-stage fund. Focusing on aerospace, defense, security, as well as enabling sciences and technologies, Starburst Ventures is investing in the next generation of industrial, software and hardware companies.The fund's team will be led by Starburst Ventures' Founder and General Partner, François Chopard. A widely respected industry veteran, Francois founded Starburst in 2012, before A&D became the venture investment category it is today. François is joined by Benjamin Zeitoun as Investor. Together they hold a significant track record of securing investment and building startups from the early stage to IPO. Joining them in an advisory capacity is Jacqueline Tame, startup founder and former Deputy Director of the United States Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, and Natalya Bailey, Head of Strategy at Bloom Energy and former founder of Accion Systems, who was named top 15 most influential women in Space per Business Insider. Both will serve as hands-on advisors to provide unrivaled support in selecting investments and developing Starburst Ventures' portfolio companies. "The Starburst Ventures fund will be an imperative resource in developing the next generation of aerospace & defense companies,Having the opportunity to lead and oversee something so impactful is a true honor. I look forward to working with some of the brightest minds across aerospace innovation and business development." François Chopard, General Partner at Starburst Ventures Starburst Ventures' existing investments include participation in a recent $7.1 million seed round for Outpost, a sustainable satellite & Earth return company founded by Jason Dunn and Mike Vergalla, and backed by Moonshot Ventures & Draper Associates, as well as Strong Compute, a startup that recently completed its $7.8 million seed round and helps developers speed up machine learning training pipelines. Strong Compute is led by Ben Sand and backed by prolific investors including Sequoia Capital India, Folklore, Blackbird; and Skip Capital (led by Principal Kim Jackson). Other investments include companies wishing to stay under the radar, working on mapping the 27,000+ objects jamming Earth orbit to pave the way for space infrastructure, Open Source Intelligence platforms, and a revolutionary optical sensing payload. All five of these companies are at the cutting edge of aerospace innovation. We're excited that our thesis drives our investment in both deeptech and tech companies that have the potential to make a real impact in our sector and beyond,said Benjamin Zeitoun, Investor, Starburst Ventures. The Starburst Ventures fund's portfolio is a reflection of its leadership's unique ability to imagine the next wave of innovation in space, aviation, and defense systems. Starburst Ventures is an independent US venture capital firm owned by its General Partners with a deep commitment to building the future of aerospace and defense. About Starburst Ventures Starburst Ventures is the first venture capital fund exclusively dedicated to investing across aviation, space, and defense to build the future of Aerospace & Defense. The team is made up of Aerospace & Defense specialists, former founders, and accelerator operators who are on a mission to help early-stage founders accelerate their business development efforts across government & industry. About Starburst Starburst is an innovation catalyst in the aerospace industry. They are the first and only global aerospace accelerator, connecting startups with corporates, investors and government, while providing strategic growth and investment consulting services for all. With offices in Los Angeles, Paris, Munich, Singapore, Seoul, Tel Aviv, and Madrid, the team has built an ecosystem of key players with 15000+ of startups in its network. Starburst's accelerator program helps startups scale their business in aviation, space, and defense with access to the largest group of corporate stakeholders to help startups win their first contracts.

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AVIATION TECHNOLOGY

Electra Flies Solar-Electric Hybrid Research Aircraft

Electra | September 28, 2022

Electra.aero, Inc , a next-gen aerospace company with a mission to help decarbonize aviation and open new air transportation markets, announced today that it has completed the first flight of a solar-battery hybrid electric research aircraft. This 90-foot wingspan unmanned aircraft system (UAS) made its first flight from Manassas Regional Airport, Virginia on September 9, 2022, and is the first airplane to emerge from Electra's new development facility there.The new plane, named Dawn One, is part of the Stratospheric Airborne Climate Observatory System (SACOS) program. SACOS is being developed under the leadership of Professor James G. Anderson at Harvard University. The project is supported by a contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and by the Weld Foundation for Scientific and Environmental Development. "SACOS is designed to innovatively address a broad range of scientific missions and serve as a climate observing system that will herald a new era in the quantitative dissection of the physics, chemistry, and biology controlling critical climate systems. Following the lead of the new National Academy of Sciences report Global Change Research Needs and Opportunities for 2022-2031, SACOS promises to dramatically expand our national climate research capabilities," Professor Anderson.Harvard University The high-spatial resolution observations from SACOS will provide, for the first time, quantitative forecasts of risk associated with rapidly expanding wildfires, the increasing rate of sea level rise, the intensification of severe storms, and global shifts in arid regions that trigger water shortages. Moreover, these quantitative forecasts of risk will, in turn, establish the essential intellectual links directly coupling irreversible changes in the climate structure to economics, public policy, and associated societal instability, Professor Anderson explained. The Dawn One project originated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) led by Professors John Hansman and Mark Drela. Detailed design, construction, and testing of the aircraft were led by Electra. This solar-battery aircraft is part of Electra's ongoing development of reduced and zero-carbon aircraft propulsion technologies, which also include turbine-electric and hydrogen fuel cell-based hybrid systems. The SACOS flight is part of the public celebration of the 2021 Dreyfus Prize in Chemical Sciences, to be presented to Professor Anderson on September 29, 2022 at Harvard. JP (James) Stewart of Electra and Annick DeWald of MIT led the aircraft team that included researchers and students from MIT, Harvard, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Stanford, Tuskegee, Embry Riddle, University of Michigan, San Diego State, and The University of Texas at El Paso. About Electra Electra.aero, Inc. is a next-gen aerospace company leading the way in building aircraft for sustainable air transportation. Electra's first commercial product is a clean, hybrid-electric, ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) airplane for urban and regional air mobility. Electra's eSTOL will quietly fly people and cargo with greater payload, longer range, and significantly lower operating costs than comparably sized vertical takeoff alternatives. Electra is based in Virginia and has operations in Massachusetts and Switzerland.

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AEROSPACE

SmartSky Connectivity Solutions Available for Cessna Citation X Series Aircraft

SmartSky Networks | November 04, 2022

SmartSky Networks today announced the availability of SmartSky’s air-to-ground (ATG) connectivity service offering for the Cessna Citation X series aircraft. The move follows the recent issuance of a supplemental type certificate (STC) for the aircraft and highlights SmartSky’s plans to make its ATG connectivity available for over 7,000 business jets and turboprop aircraft across 14 aircraft models manufactured by Textron Aviation. Textron Aviation Service Centers are part of SmartSky’s growing network of connectivity solution providers with plans to begin installations in Q4 of 2022 at the 11 Textron Aviation Service Centers in the United States. STCs are anticipated to expand beyond the Citation X series to include the Cessna Citation Excel 560 series, the Beechcraft King Air B200/250/300/350 series, and additional Textron Aviation models like the Cessna Citation Sovereign. The STC for the Citation X was recently completed in Kinston, North Carolina, by flyExclusive, a large operator of Textron Aviation aircraft, and the engineering team at Liberty Partners. This Textron Aviation owned STC enables the more than 300 Cessna Citation X series aircraft to now take advantage of SmartSky’s nationwide ATG network. About SmartSky SmartSky Networks was founded to transform aviation through disruptive communications technologies, services, and tools. Its innovative air-to-ground network is now available, with full CONUS coverage coming in the first half of 2022. The network takes advantage of patented spectrum reuse, advanced beamforming technologies and 60 MHz of spectrum for significantly enhanced connectivity. SmartSky Networks uniquely enables an “office in the sky” experience with unmatched capacity for data transmissions both to and from the aircraft. This real-time, very low latency, bidirectional data link makes SmartSky Networks the best in-flight user experience, and a key enabler for new and enhanced applications and services.

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AVIATION TECHNOLOGY

Flexjet Once Again Honored as One of Northeast Ohio’s Best Places to Work

Flexjet LLC, | September 02, 2022

Flexjet LLC, offering travelers access to the world’s most luxurious fleet of private jets, today announced that it has been named by the Employers Resource Council (ERC), producer of the NorthCoast 99 Awards, as one of the 99 best places to work in Northeast Ohio for the 19th year overall and the 14th consecutive year. We are proud to once again be honored as one of Northeast Ohio’s best places to work,“From our inception, we have viewed our people – our flight crews, ground support teams and Owner services staff – as the most important reason for our success. Our Owners and clients fly with us because our professional team members are attuned to providing exceptional service, and we are committed to making this an outstanding place for them to work and build careers.” Flexjet Chief Executive Officer Michael Silvestro. An Exciting Time to Explore a Career in Private Aviation at FlexjetThe recognition comes during a period of unprecedented growth for the private aviation industry, with flight activity in 2022 expected to be 15-20 percent greater than during the pre-COVID year of 2019, according to Argus Traqpak.1 Through the first seven months of 2022, Flexjet’s flight activity was up 30 percent over 2021, which was its busiest year on record. The current growth trend looks to have staying power. A Private Jet Card Comparisons survey of private aviation users found that 53 percent of people who started flying privately during the pandemic plan to continue utilizing private air travel regularly, while 47 percent will continue to use it for at least some of their travel needs moving forward.2“Flexjet has been able to manage the extraordinary growth of the past two years because we recognize that our team members are the foundation of our company, we pay fanatical attention to detail and we take a long-term approach to establishing relationships,” said Flexjet Chief Administrative Officer Bob Sullivan. “These qualities enable us to continue to attract and retain the private aviation industry’s finest professionals by keeping our company among Ohio’s best places to work, now and in the years to come.” Flexjet is responding to this growth through investments in aircraft, facilities and staff. The investments include: Increased staff-with 350 additional pilots to be hired during 2021-22, giving Flexjet a total of 1,150 pilots by the end of this year. Flexjet has been able to recruit pilots quickly because its nonunion status gives it the ability to adjust signing bonuses, pay scales and benefits rapidly in response to growth in flight activity and demand for experienced pilots. Flexjet also is recruiting candidates for positions across the full range of its activities, including other flight crew members, maintenance workers, Owner services and experience representatives, operations staff, flight coordinators, business analysts and information technology specialists. More information on open positions is available at www.flexjet.com/careers. $850 million in new aircraft, including Embraer Phenom 300s, Praetor 500s and 600s, Bombardier Challenger 350s; and Gulfstream G450s and G650s. The Flexjet fleet will expand to 231 aircraft by the end of 2022, approximately 40 percent larger than it was at the end of the first half of 2021. A state-of-the-art global operations control center is under construction adjacent to Flexjet’s current facility at Cuyahoga County Airport outside of Cleveland. The futuristic global operations center will serve as the master logistics and control center for the entire global network of flights operated by Flexjet and its sister companies. The new facility will ensure Flexjet is able to operate the safest and most optimized fleet of aircraft in all of aviation and provide its team members one of the finest environments in which to work. Expanding the footprint of Flexjet-exclusive private terminals with new facilities at Teterboro Airport (New Jersey), Dallas Love Field Airport (Texas) and Miami-Opa locka Airport (Florida). The new facilities bolster the support services provided by fixed-base operators and join existing Flexjet-exclusive facilities at Naples Airport (Florida), Palm Beach International Airport (Florida), Westchester County Airport (New York) and Van Nuys Airport (California). “Today we are in period of unprecedented growth which enables us to provide superior service for those who are seeking the very best in private jet travel for those interested in joining an exciting industry,” said Silvestro. “As responsible stewards of our business, we are prepared to invest for the future at times such as these, when the prospects for growth are at their highest, while ensuring that our investment is carefully aligned with the ebbs and flows of a dynamic market environment such as private air travel.”The NorthCoast 99 is an annual program and event that honors 99 outstanding Northeast Ohio workplaces for their accomplishments during the period January 1-December 31 of each year. It includes a meticulous assessment that addresses factors such as top-performer recruitment, development and retention and distinction in areas including organizational strategy, policies and benefits; talent attraction, acquisition and onboarding; employee well-being; employee engagement and talent development; total rewards; and diversity, equity and inclusion. Headquartered in the Cleveland suburb of Richmond Heights, Flexjet employs more than 2,200 private jet travel professionals, mainly in North America and Europe. The company offers an open and inclusive working environment that provides its team members a career path with opportunities for growth, whether as a member of a flight crew or in one of the many essential supporting roles on the ground. Flexjet also provides a safe, progressive, diverse and rewarding workplace with highly competitive pay and benefits. About Flexjet Flexjet first entered the fractional jet ownership market in 1995. Flexjet offers fractional jet ownership and leasing. Flexjet’s fractional aircraft program is the first in the world to be recognized as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Industry Audit Standard, is the first and only company to be honored with 23 FAA Diamond Awards for Excellence, upholds an ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating, a 4AIR Bronze Sustainable Rating and is IS-BAO compliant at Level 2. In 2015, Flexjet introduced Red Label by Flexjet, which features the most modern fleet in the industry, flight crews dedicated to a single aircraft and the LXi Cabin Collection of interiors. To date there are more than 40 different interior designs across its fleet, which includes the Embraer Phenom 300 and Praetor 500, Bombardier Challenger 350, the Gulfstream G450 and G650. Flexjet’s European fleet includes the Embraer Praetor 600 and the Gulfstream G650. Flexjet’s private helicopter division sells fractional, lease, and on-demand charter access to its fleet of owned and operated Sikorsky S-76 private helicopters serving locations throughout the Northeastern United States and Florida. Flexjet is a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies.

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Spotlight

Continuing the trend of major fractional aircraft ownership companies establishing their own FBOs at popular destinations, Cleveland-based Flexjet, the second largest provider in the U.S. recently announced it will open its fourth such facility, at Dallas Love Field. To see what they have to offer, we recently visited the Flexjet terminal at New York City-area business aviation hub, Westchester County Airport.

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