Starting from today March 15 the Airbus A300 Zero G aircraft offers commercial flights – for up to 40 passengers – from Bordeaux Merignac Airport. The cost per flight is 5980€ and there are scheduled only 3 flights per year. The passengers need to pass a medical exam with an aeronautics specialized doctors.
The Airbus A300 Zero-G belongs to Airbus Company and is an aircraft converted into scientific research laboratory. It is in use since 1997 for making parabolic flights allowing up to 22 seconds of weightlessness during which time different scientific experiments can be realized. The plane belongs to the Novespace, a subsidiary of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales and is based on the Bordeaux / Merignac.
The commercial flights, that take place above the Atlantic Ocean, last 2 ½ hours during which time the passengers experience 1 parabola simulating Martian gravity (0.38 g, 30 seconds), five parabolas simulating lunar gravity (0.16 g, 25 seconds) and twelve parabolas simulating weightlessness (0 g, 22 seconds) – 1 g being the force of gravity at the Earth’s surface, which is 9.8 meters per second per second. The participant will receive an official diploma Air Zero G Weightless Flyer3.
A parabola is a top of the rollercoaster that the plane makes. To have a visual image of what is going on one has to imagine a water jet pointing to the sky and the moment the drops start to fall back on the earth.
Jean-François Clervoy, the French astronaut and the CEO of Novespace describes the flight: “From horizontal flight the aircraft makes a rollercoaster. The pilot puts the plane into a steep vertical ascending mode for 20 seconds until it reaches an angle of 55 degrees. The pilot then pushes on the handle so that the plane starts a free fall. The phase of weightlessness occurs at the top of the curve, the parabola. It lasts 22 seconds. Then, the pilot pulls back on the stick and the plane is gradually recovering and levels”. He added that during the weightlessness period “one feels a spirit without a body”.
Hi, I am Carla. I am living and working in the beautiful city of Toulouse, France.
I like history, travel and... the southwest of France and try to share through this blog information about events that might be of interest to the travelers to this part of the world!