Lufthansa Technik is currently working on two unique „Space“ aircraft in its VIP maintenance facilities in Hamburg / Germany.
Since July, SOFIA, a modified Boeing 747SP that is operated jointly by the USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) as a „Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy“, is undergoing a major overhaul at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg. The DLR and NASA have selected Lufthansa Technik to perform a major overhaul of the aircraft on account of its claim to have the widest and longest experience at maintaining this aircraft type.
Since September, Lufthansa Technik is also converting a former Airbus A310 of the German Air Force for Novespace, subsidiary of the French National Space Center (CNES), from a VIP configuration into a so-called Zero Gravity in-flight test and research platform for parabolic flights. In parallel, Lufthansa Technik is also executing heavy maintenance services on this aircraft, which utilization is shared between DLR, CNES and the European Space agency (ESA).
„Beside our classic VIP completion and maintenance business for private and head-of-state customers our technical services for Special Mission Aircraft have become a very successful business over the past years“, said Wieland Timm, Executive Director Sales VIP & Special Mission Aircraft.
The operation portfolio of Special Mission Aircraft lasts from troop and cargo transport, tanker and medical evacuation to special scientific operations like SOFIA or ZeroG.