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February 20, 2022

Virgin Galactic Sees Executive Shakeup

Palihapitiya Resigns, Virgin Begins Public Ticket Sales at $450,000

Chamath Palihapitiya, the executive who led the investment firm that took Virgin Galactic public in 2019, abruptly resigned from his position as board chair on Thursday. His departure follows a prolonged stock slump that has left some wondering just how much of a market there is for ultra-high-cost, 6-minute flights in zero gravity. Galactic made some other changes to the company, removing their old quintessentially Virgin logo that contained the iris of company founder Richard Branson. The new one replaces the eye with an outline of their custom aircraft, Spaceship One.

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Vaya Space Completes Suborbital Test Launch

Easygoing, Nontoxic Rocket Makes Headway in Testing

Vaya Space successfully launched its hybrid rocket on a suborbital course from Mojave, California at the end of January, demonstrating the utility of the design. Unlike other launch systems, Vaya's rocket uses 3D printed fuel grains created from recycled thermoplastics. They hope that the launch will allow them to pick up the pace to reach the market as they scale for production. If all goes well, they hope to have their first commercial orbital launch planned for 2023. Besides the 3D-printed components, the proprietary Vaya STAR-3DTM Engine represents a more benign alternative to the usual high-output but volatile fuels used in launch systems.

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Luke Airshow Cancelled

Luke AFB Shindig Pushed to 2024 Amid Rising Costs, Covid

Luke Air Force Base, a mainstay of the Arizona flight training scene, has announced the cancellation of the Luke Days air show scheduled for March. In the announcement, the 56th Fighter Wing said that the change was due to a number of factors outside their control, but future shows are hoped to return. Due to logistical and economic strain, as well as COVID-19 challenges, base leadership deemed it in the best interest of all parties to cancel the 2022 show and looks forward to overcoming these issues for future events." 

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Airbus Asia Training Center Expands

Adds 4th A350 FFS in Continued Growth to Address Asian Airline Training Demand

The Airbus Asia Training Centre has completed the installation of its 4th A350 Full Flight Simulator (FFS). Now that it's ready for action the center boasts the greatest A350 simulator capacity than any other training facility on Earth. The expansion of their services positions the Singaporean center as the largest Airbus-run training spot in the world, and true to its status it offers the greatest number variety of the manufacturer's aircraft. The majority of the Airbus portfolio is included, with multiples of A320s, A330s, and A350s available for high student throughput. The center even offers an A380 and ATR 72-600 sim.

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