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Fri, Dec 08, 2006

Zero-G Gets Its Own Plane

Converted B727F Will Enter Service In 2007

Representatives with Zero Gravity Corporation told Aero-News Thursday the company has signed a four year lease/purchase and maintenance contract with Amerijet International of Ft. Lauderdale, FL for a dedicated Boeing 727-200F providing parabolic flights to meet demand in its growing education, research and entertainment markets. 

Amerijet has been Zero-G's operations partner for the past four years, providing access to two B727-200 cargo aircraft on a part-time charter basis on weekends, mostly in the Florida region. Zero-G says the dedicated aircraft will allow weekday use and frequent operations throughout the country... and allow the company to provide commercial services to NASA.

"Amerijet is an organization of 700 individuals ready to support Zero-G's growth. We have over 30 years of safe Part-121 FAA operations and look forward to helping Zero-G's objective to bring commercial parabolic flight to customers nationwide and to NASA," said Dave Bassett, President of Amerijet International.

Zero-G is the only FAA approved parabolic flight operation in the US, receiving approval to operate under part-121 in September 2004. The Company also received an extensive patent for the conversion of Boeing aircraft for parabolic flight. Zero-G started its first test flights in 2000, now logging more than 100 flights, 3,000 parabolas, and providing the experience of a lifetime to more than 2,000 customers.

"Zero-G has made a $10 million commitment to growing its business," said company CEO Peter Diamandis. "The contract with Amerijet is worth over $7.5 million, an additional $2.5 million has been committed for aircraft improvements intended to meet the various requirements desired by NASA."

Zero-G's dedicated aircraft will go into its routine "C-Check" early in 2007. While in C-Check, improvements in lighting, padding, insulation, sound system, and an interior redesign yielding a 20% increase in the floating space, will make Zero-G's plane the most advanced parabolic flight aircraft in the US.

Earlier this year, Zero-G was successful in getting its parabolic flight services placed on the GSA schedule. "In quantity, Zero-G is very proud that we were able to beat NASA's internal flight pricing by as much as 15% on a per seat basis," said Byron Lichtenberg, Zero-G co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer and former Space Shuttle Astronaut.

"For more than two decades NASA has talked about expanding the space economy by relying on commercial services to meet some of its needs, but it's been mostly talk," said, Robert Walker, a member of the Zero-G board and former Science Committee Chairman of the House. "Zero-G is not only providing NASA an opportunity to make the talk real, but is investing in that opportunity and offering prices that allow real taxpayer savings."

Today, Zero-G operates parabolic flights on a regular basis from the Kennedy Space Center Space Shuttle Landing Facility near Orlando, with plans to expand its offering and open operations in Las Vegas in the Spring of 2007. In addition to its dedicated aircraft, Zero-G will have access to a second converted B727-200 on a charter basis to accommodate demand.

FMI: www.gozerog.com

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