Author Topic: New Company Plans to use Cecil Spaceport for Air-Launches  (Read 435 times)

Sonic101

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New Company Plans to use Cecil Spaceport for Air-Launches
« on: December 04, 2020, 09:47:34 AM »
Some good news for the Spaceport. Hopefully they get off the ground. They're an Alabama based company developing an autonomous air-launching vehicle.

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Without a pilot on board, the drone can pull significantly higher g-loads and steeper ascent trajectories as it releases a rocket at altitudes between 10 and 20km.

"We claim that our aircraft is a first stage because it actually contributes delta V," Jay Skylus, Aevum's founder and CEO, said in an interview with Ars.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/12/meet-ravn-x-a-fully-autonomous-air-launched-rocket-for-small-satellites/

marcuscnelson

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Re: New Company Plans to use Cecil Spaceport for Air-Launches
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2020, 11:52:29 AM »
Woah. These guys seem pretty serious. Some choice quotes:

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The company is named Aevum, and until now it has largely operated in the background. But now, it's ready to show off some hardware, and it's starting with the "Ravn X" launch system's first stage. This autonomous aircraft and launch vehicle measures 24 meters long and has a wingspan of 18 meters. It has a gross takeoff mass of 25,000kg—massive for an uncrewed aerial vehicle.

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A physicist by training, Skylus founded Aevum in June 2016 after a few years at NASA and several commercial space companies, including Boeing and Firefly Aerospace. His company presently has about 180 full-time employees and has so far conducted about five rounds of Angel investment fundraising. It is aiming to launch its first orbital mission in 2021.

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This led the company to its concept of an autonomous first stage. After its unveiling, this vehicle will begin a test flight campaign, with taxi testing, full avionics integration, a flight termination system, and more. This first model will serve as a "workhorse" for the test campaign, and Skylus said the plan is to bolt its engines onto a second airframe for a launch campaign.

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The US military definitely seems interested in the concept. Lt. Col. Ryan Rose, chief of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Small Launch and Targets Division at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, attended Thursday's rollout. She described the company's efforts as "bold" and "innovative."

Moreover, Aevum claims it has secured launch contracts worth more than $1 billion over the next decade, including the Air Force's ASLON-45 mission, which is currently targeted for Ravn X's first launch.

If that last one is true, this could be very interesting. I wonder how NG and Virgin will respond. And I haven't decided which is cooler, the SpaceX model where we watch it come together, or Aevum one where it just pops up like this.
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