Platinum Equity affiliate to acquire Wesco Aircraft for $1.9bn

Supply chain management (SCM) services provider Wesco Aircraft signed a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of Platinum Equity for $1.9bn.

Upon the completion of the transaction, Wesco will be merged with Platinum Equity portfolio company Pattonair, a UK-based provider of SCM services for the aerospace and defence industries.

Under the agreement, Platinum Equity would pay $11.05 a share in cash to Wesco shareholders.

Bye Aerospace to sell eFlyer airplanes to Quantum Air

Quantum Air signed a purchase deposit agreement to buy 22 of Bye Aerospace’s all-electric four-seat eFlyer 4s and two 2-seat eFlyer 2 aircraft.

Quantum also signed an agreement to acquire two future advanced aircraft that are currently under development from Bye Aerospace.

Bye Aerospace said that the on-demand air-taxi is designed for its all-electric eFlyer 4s.

Rolls-Royce to provide TotalCare Flex services for Air Canada

Rolls-Royce signed an agreement to provide TotalCare Flex support services for Air Canada to ensure the availability of the latter’s Trent 700 until fleet retirement.

The deal marks a new milestone for TotalCare Flex, which has been designed for owners and operators of mature engines.

Rolls-Royce noted that until now, Air Canada fleet of Trent 700-powered Airbus A330s achieved more than 700,000 flying hours. The first aircraft is now reaching approximately 20 years in service.

Nasa awards $621m NSEETS contract to Aerospace Corporation

A $621m Nasa-wide specialised engineering, evaluation and test services (NSEETS) contract was awarded to US-based company Aerospace Corporation.

The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract will give Nasa the right to use Aerospace’s resources and personnel.

The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract comes with a base period of five years that will commence on 1 October. It comes with a four-year extension option.

Capella Space and SpaceNet collaborate to expand SAR Data access

Capella Space partnered with SpaceNet to expand the latter’s existing geospatial open-source research to a new data type, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR).

The collaboration enables Capella to join the SpaceNet partnership, along with In-Q-Tel’s (IQT) CosmiQ Works, Maxar Technologies, Intel AI and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Access to SAR data will help to increase the use of high-quality data across a number of geospatial analytic applications.

Volocopter unveils design for commercial VoloCity aircraft

German air taxi start-up Volocopter launched the design for its new VoloCity Urban Air Mobility aircraft, which will be the company’s fourth-generation electrical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

The aircraft is designed to meet the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)’s SC-VTOL safety standards. It incorporates user feedback and test data from the previous Volocopter generations.

Designed to serve as an on-demand inner-city air taxi, VoloCity is said to have a calculated range of 35km at an airspeed of 110km/h.

Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft successfully enters lunar orbit

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft has been successfully manoeuvred into a lunar orbit.

According to ISRO, the orbit achieved is 114km x 18,072km.

Following this, a set of orbit manoeuvres will be performed on the spacecraft to allow it to pass through the final orbit over the lunar poles at a distance of 100km from the Moon’s surface.

The lander will then separate from the Orbiter, entering a 100km x 30km orbit around the Moon.

China successfully launches Smart Dragon-1 rocket

China launched its new Smart Dragon-1 carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province.

Also named as Jielong 1, the solid-fuelled small satellite debuted as a new rocket developed as part of a spinoff of China’s state-owned launch vehicle manufacturer using a ‘commercial business model.’

Carrying three satellites into planned orbit, the 23t rocket is designed for commercial use and developed by a unit of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC).

Air Canada increases Transat acquisition offer to $544.1m

Air Canada increased its total offer by C$200m ($151.1m) to acquire Air Transit’s parent company Transat, bringing the total value to C$720m ($544.1m).

In May, Air Canada reached an exclusive agreement to acquire all issued and outstanding shares of Transat for C$520m ($386.93m).

The airline agreed to increase the purchase price for the acquisition from $13 to $18 a share, as well as amend the arrangement agreement signed in June.

ESA selects Airbus to build European component of SMILE satellite

The European Space Agency (ESA) selected Airbus to build the European component of the Solar-wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE) satellite.

SMILE will be the first joint satellite mission between the ESA and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). It is derived from the success of the Double Star / Tan Ce mission, which flew between 2003 and 2008.

SMILE aims to study space weather and will particularly look at the physics behind continuous interaction between particles in the solar wind and Earth’s magnetosphere, the magnetic shield protecting life on Earth.