Airbus Defence and Space

Tests completed for Airbus Defence and Space’s SpacePlane demonstrator in South China Sea

Held on 1-4 May, the tests of Airbus Defence and Space’s SpacePlane demonstrator validated the dynamic flight conditions encountered in the end-of-flight phase following a return from space.

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 quarter-scale 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 . After being winched from the barge by an AS350 B3e Ecureuil 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 video images are available to download at:


About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space is a division of Airbus Group formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Airbus Defence and Space and Airbus Military. The new division is Europe’s number one defence and space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide and among the top ten global defence enterprises. It employs some 40,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €14 billion per year.

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