Having arrived in Hamburg as a former German government aircraft, this Airbus A310 has now left Hamburg again in a completely new role. Lufthansa Technik has delivered the new Zero-G aircraft to its French owner, Novespace, following extensive modifications. The former 10+21 “Konrad Adenauer” bearing the registration F-WNOV will operate in the future as a parabolic aircraft in the name of space exploration and technology – in true reflection of the spirit of Franco/German friendship.
Some 1,300 modifications were required in the framework of the conversion program in order to convert the aircraft back to its original factory default state as required by the European aviation authority EASA. The cabin refit then commenced, with the approx. 20 meter long “test area” proving particularly challenging.
This is the area where prospective astronauts will experience weightlessness for the first time and experiments will take place. Powerful light installations were required in particular for this purpose, with care being taken to ensure that these would not pose a hazard for the “weightless” passengers. Novespace will use the aircraft from its home airport in Bordeaux beginning in May.