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Phoenix performs first glide test
Posted: Sun, May 9, 2004, 5:24 PM ET (2124 GMT)
Phoenix RLV demonstrator (EADS) Phoenix, the subscale prototype of a proposed European RLV, successfully completed its first glide test Saturday. The six-meter-long Phoenix was dropped from a helicopter at an altitude of 2,400 meters above the Kiruna test range in northern Sweden. The unpowered vehicle glided to an autonomous landing 90 seconds later, reaching speeds of up to 450 kmph during its descent. Future drop tests are planned, including drops from balloons from altitudes above 100 km. Phoenix,built by EADS, is a smaller version of a proposed RLV called Hopper that could enter service in 2015-2020, provided enough funding is available. To date about €8.2 million (US$9.7 million) has been spent on Phoenix, with most of the money coming from the German Aerospace Center and the government of the German city-state of Bremen.
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