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
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.