Now that Iridium has successfully completed the financing for its next-generation satellite constellation, called Iridium Next, the McLean, Va., firm is looking ahead to the fun part: building and launching an all-new network of dozens of cross-linked communications satellites.
Space accidents and incidents
Bombardier BD-100-1A10, Wheeling, Ill., Feb. 24, 2010–The Challenger 300 was substantially damaged when it was struck by a de-icing vehicle while preparing for departure for a Part 91 flight from Chicago Executive Airport. Marginal VMC existed at the time of the accident. Neither pilot on board was injured.
Iridium Communications of McLean, Va., last month placed a multibillion-dollar order with Thales Alenia Space of France for 81 communications satellites needed to upgrade its global satellite communications network. The $2.1 billion deal includes 66 low-earth-orbit satellites for the Iridium Next constellation, with the remainder to serve as spares.
Iridium Communications of McLean, Va., has ordered 81 satellites from Thales Alenia Space of France to upgrade its global satellite network. The $2.1 billion deal includes 66 low-earth-orbit satellites for the operational constellation, with the rest to serve as spares. The first satellite launch is scheduled for the first quarter of 2015.
Maintenance, completion and refurbishment specialist Flying Colours delivered its first Challenger 850 green completion in December and the program is ramping up, according to director of sales and marketing Sean Gillespie.
Six more Challenger 850s are in the completion pipeline at the company’s Peterborough, Ontario facility and at JetCorp, its U.S.-based company in St. Louis.
West Star Aviation’s Grand Junction, Colo. facility (GJT) is offering 96-month detailed inspections and 120-month restorations for Challenger landing gear.
The cost of maintaining older Bombardier Challengers and Globals can be reduced by as much as 50 percent under Challenger Spares & Support’s cost-containment program, according to Steve Davis, president of the Georgetown, Texas-based company. CSS provides airframe and engine component repairs for the Bombardier Challenger, Global 5000 and Global Express.
Iridium said it has begun taking steps to replace a lost communication satellite with one of eight in-orbit spares. The collision of a 2,000-pound decommissioned Russian satellite with the smaller Iridium craft on February 10 created a swirling field of debris but left only a tiny gap in Iridium’s 66-satellite constellation, resulting in brief outages for some customers.
Capital Aviation in Bethany, Okla., is at Booth No. 4442 displaying what it can do to make older Canadair/Bombardier Challengers look and perform like new Challenger 605s.
The Reflections refurbishment program incorporates several Capital-owned STCs to give Challenger 600 through 604 corporate jets “the looks of a new 605 inside and out, for a fraction of the price.”
The 96-month inspection of a Challenger 604 gave JetCorp’s St. Louis facility the downtime required to make significant interior modifications and cabin entertainment upgrades in the customer’s airplane.
“With the Challenger 604s coming out of warranty, we recognize that more and more customers are looking for an exceptional facility to complete the
critical 96-month inspections,” said JetCorp president Bill McLendon.