ST Aerospace Extends Maintenance Support To Virgin Galactic’s Space Access Vehicle

Dec. 4, 2015

Singapore, 4 December 2015 – ST Aerospace, with an established global track record on aircraft maintenance and modifications, now extends its maintenance support from military forces, commercial airlines to the world’s first commercial spaceline. Its US affiliate company VT San Antonio Aerospace will be providing a series of D-level heavy maintenance checks on the Virgin Galactic’s Boeing 747-400 aircraft – the carrier aircraft for its small satellite launch vehicle.

During the heavy maintenance visit, the 747-400 will undergo a thorough inspection of all of its airframe structure, with many of its systems to be removed and overhauled in the process. Upon completion of the maintenance visit, the aircraft will undergo various modifications, before entering service with Virgin Galactic, serving as the first stage in the spaceline’s LauncherOne orbital launch system.

“ST Aerospace has a strong track record in aircraft heavy maintenance, which is one of the main reasons that we entrust the 747-400, our latest addition to our space fleet, to this MRO specialist for the maintenance support”, said Mr George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic. “Working with ST Aerospace gives us the assurance of a quality product delivered on schedule.”

"We are honoured to be selected by Virgin Galactic for heavy maintenance on its 747-400 aircraft”, said Mr Stephen Lim, President of VT Aerospace and VT San Antonio Aerospace. “We are excited to be part of this phenomenal LauncherOne programme and appreciate the vote of confidence that Virgin Galactic has placed in us for this very important maintenance check of the aircraft that serves as the foundation for launching the world’s first commercial spacecraft.”

The aircraft will be inducted at VT San Antonio Aerospace’s facility at the San Antonio International Airport in Texas, US, in December 2015. Maintenance work is expected to complete by early 2016.

Marketed as part of ST Aerospace’s global network, VT San Antonio Aerospace is one of the leading providers of maintenance and modification services for large and regional aircraft in North America, having redelivered more than 3,000 aircraft to-date. Located on 50 acres of land at the San Antonio International Airport, Texas, it leverages well established infrastructure and a committed team of specialists to offer a suite of services including aircraft maintenance, VIP completion and cabin interior reconfiguration, composite parts manufacturing and repairs, as well as environmentally responsible aircraft end-of-life solutions. The facility is a US Federal Aviation Administration Class 4 Part 145 repair station and holds approvals from various international civil aviation authorities.

Virgin Galactic is the world’s first commercial spaceline. Founded by Sir Richard Branson and owned by the Virgin Group and Aabar Investments PJS, Virgin Galactic will transform access to space for the benefit of life on Earth. Virgin Galactic is developing LauncherOne, an affordable dedicated ride to orbit for small satellites. As an air-launched rocket, LauncherOne is designed to provide commercial and government-built satellites a flexible launch service that meets each customer’s specific mission requirements. LauncherOne rockets are designed and manufactured in Long Beach, California, and launches will be conducted by its dedicated 747-400 carrier from various locations.

ST Aerospace (Singapore Technologies Aerospace Ltd) is the aerospace arm of ST Engineering with a revenue of $2.07b in FY2014. Operating a global MRO network with facilities and affiliates in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe, it is the world's largest commercial airframe MRO provider with a global customer base that includes leading airlines, airfreight and military operators. ST Aerospace is an integrated service provider that offers a spectrum of maintenance and engineering services that include airframe, engine and component maintenance, repair and overhaul; engineering design and technical services; and aviation materials and asset management services, including Total Aviation Support. ST Aerospace has a global staff strength of around 8,000 employees worldwide.
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