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Mojave Air & Space Port
Kluft-photo-aerial-Mojave-Spaceport-Sept-2009-Img 0227.jpg
Aerial photo of Mojave Air & Space Port in 2009
IATA: MHVICAO: KMHV
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator Kern County
Serves Mojave, California
Elevation AMSL 2,791 ft / 851 m
Coordinates 35°03′34″N 118°09′06″W / 35.05944°N 118.15167°W / 35.05944; -118.15167
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
12/30 12,503 3,811 Asphalt/Concrete
08/26 7,050 2,149 Asphalt
04/22 4,743 1,446 Asphalt

The Mojave Air & Space Port (IATA: MHVICAO: KMHV), also known as the Civilian Aerospace Test Center, is located in Mojave, California, at an elevation of 2,791 feet (851 m).[1] It is the first facility to be licensed in the United States for horizontal launches of reusable spacecraft, being certified as a spaceport by the Federal Aviation Administration on June 17, 2004.

Contents

Activities

Besides being a general-use public airport, Mojave has three main areas of activity: flight testing, space industry development, and aircraft heavy maintenance and storage.

Mojave spaceport
Administration offices, restaurant and old tower

Air Racing

The airport has a rich history in Air Racing. There are several air racing teams based at Mojave. The two active race teams currently based at Mojave are Nemesis Air Racing (Sharp Nemesis NXT), and Wasabi Air Racing. There are several other race teams based at the airport including the famous Wildfire Unlimited Racer, and the GT 400.[citation needed]

Flight testing

Flight testing activities have been centered at Mojave since the early 1970s, due to the lack of populated areas surrounding the airport. It is also favored for this purpose due to its proximity to the Edwards Air Force Base, where the airspace is restricted from ground level to an unlimited height, and where there is a supersonic corridor. Mojave is also the home of the National Test Pilot School[citation needed] and Scaled Composites

Space industry development

Mojave Airport, storage location for commercial airliners.
SpaceShipOne landing at Mojave after June 21, 2004 space flight

Beginning with the Rotary Rocket program, Mojave became a focus for small companies seeking a place to develop space access technologies. Mojave Spaceport has been a test site for several teams in the Ansari X Prize, most notably SpaceShipOne, which conducted the first privately funded human sub-orbital flight on June 21, 2004. Other groups based at the Mojave Spaceport include XCOR Aerospace, Masten Space Systems, Orbital Sciences Corporation, and Interorbital Systems.

The East Kern Airport District has been given spaceport status by the Federal Aviation Administration for the Mojave Air and Spaceport through June 16, 2014.[2]

Aircraft heavy maintenance and storage

The Mojave airport is also known as a storage location for commercial airliners, due to the vast area and dry desert conditions.[3] Numerous large Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed, and Airbus aircraft owned by major airlines are stored at Mojave. Some aircraft reach the end of their useful lifetime and are scrapped at the Mojave aircraft boneyard, while others are refurbished and returned to active service.

A retired Boeing 767-200 that flew for Ansett Australia being cut open for scrap at Mojave Airport

History

The Mojave Airport was first opened in 1935 as a small, rural airfield serving the local gold and silver mining industry.

In July 1942, the U.S. Marine Corps took over the field and vastly expanded it as the Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Station (MCAAS) Mojave. Many of the Corps' World War II aces received their gunnery training at Mojave. With the end of World War II, MCAAS was disestablished in 1946, and became instead a U.S. Navy airfield. At the end of 1953, the USMC reopened MCAAS Mojave as an auxiliary field to MCAS El Toro.

In 1961, after the USMC transferred operations to MCAS El Centro, Kern County obtained title to the airport. In February 1972, the East Kern Airport District was formed to administer the airport; EKAD maintains the airport to this day. To a great extent EKAD was the brainchild of Dan Sabovich who heavily lobbied the state for the airport district's creation and ran EKAD until 2002.

First flights and significant events

  • January 16, 2010 AOPA president Craig Fuller came to speak at MHV

Civilian Aerospace Test Center test programs

World records set

  • FAI Class C-1, unlimited weight
    • Group 1, internal combustion engine
      • Speed over a straight 15/25 km course: P-51 Mustang N5410V piloted by Frank Taylor, 832.12 km/h, July 30, 1983.[25]
    • Group 3, turbojet
    • Group 4, rocket engine
      • Altitude Gain, Airplane Launched from a Carrier Aircraft: 85,743 meters, SpaceShipOne piloted by Mike Melvill, June 21, 2004.[27]
      • Distance: 16 km, XCOR EZRocket piloted by Dick Rutan, December 3, 2005[27]
  • FAI Class C-1a, Landplanes: take off weight 300 to 500 kg
    • Group 1, internal combustion engine
      • Distance, Rutan VariEze piloted by Frank Hertzler, Mojave to Martinsburg, West Virginia, 3,563.02 km, July 15, 1984.[28]
      • Speed over 3 km course with restricted altitude: DR90 Nemesis piloted by Jon Sharp, 466.83 km/h, November 15, 1998 (aircraft now on display at the National Air & Space Museum)[28]
      • Speed over straight 15/25 km course: DR90 Nemesis piloted by Jon Sharp, 454.77 km/h, October 31, 1998.[28]
  • FAI Class C-1b, Landplanes: take off weight 500 to 1000 kg
    • Group 1, internal combustion engine
      • Distance over a closed course: Rutan Long-EZ N79RA piloted by Dick Rutan, 7,725.3 km, December 15, 1979.[29]
      • Speed over a closed circuit of 2,000 km without payload. Rutan Catbird N187RA piloted by Dick Rutan, 401.46 km/h, January 29, 1994.[29]
    • Group 4, Rocket engine
      • Distance: 16 km, XCOR EZRocket piloted by Dick Rutan, December 3, 2005[27]
  • FAI Class C-1c, Landplanes: take off weight 1000 to 1750 kg
    • Group 1, internal combustion engine
      • Speed over a closed circuit of 2,000 km without payload. Rutan Catbird N187RA piloted by Mike Melvill, 413.78 km/h, March 2, 1994.[30]
  • FAI Class C-1d, Landplanes: take off weight 1750 to 3000 kg
    • Group 1, internal combustion engine
      • Distance over a closed course, Voyager N269VA, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, Vandenburg, California to Mojave, 18,658.16 km, July 15, 1986.[31]
    • Group 4, rocket engine
      • Altitude Gain, Airplane Launched from a Carrier Aircraft: 85,743 meters, SpaceShipOne piloted by Mike Melvill, June 21, 2004.[27]
  • FAI Class C-1e, Landplanes: take off weight 3,000 to 6,000 kg
    • Group 2, turbojet
      • Altitude: Scaled Composites Proteus N281PR, piloted by Mike Melvill and Robert Waldmiller, 19,277 m, October 25, 2000.[32]
      • Altitude in horizontal flight: Scaled Composites Proteus N281PR, piloted by Mike Melvill and Robert Waldmiller, 19,015 m, October 25, 2000.[32]
      • Altitude with 1,000 kg payload: Scaled Composites Proteus N281PR, piloted by Mike Melvill and Robert Waldmiller, 17,067 m, October 27, 2000.[32]

Notable pilots and engineers

Movie/television location credits

Due to the Mojave Spaceport's unique location and facilities, a number of movies, TV shows and commercials have been filmed on location here. The Airport Administration actively promotes the facility as a set. The airport has facilities dedicated for filming, a large supply of aircraft to use as props and two large film pads that can be flooded for water scenes. Action movies and car commercials make up the bulk of the filming at the airport.

Movie credits include:

TV Show credits include:

Other credits:

References

  1. ^ "Mojave Airport". Geographic Names Information System. U.S. Geological Survey. http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=gnispq:3:::NO::P3_FID:1653745. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  2. ^ "Active Commercial Space Licenses". FAA. February 18, 2009. http://www.faa.gov/data_research/commercial_space_data/current_licenses/. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b c Hansen, Cathy; Settle, Glen A. (1996). Mojave: A Rich History of Rails, Flight, Mining. Kern-Antelope Historical Society. 
  5. ^ "Edward Shaw - VMF-213". http://www.acepilots.com/usmc_shaw.html. Retrieved 2006-11-16. 
  6. ^ "AIRCRAFT WRECKS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA". http://www.qnet.com/~carcomm/a.htm. Retrieved 2006-11-16. 
  7. ^ "Mojave Airport: Voyager". Mojave Virtual Museum. http://www.mojave.ca.us/museum/photos-cftc-voyager.htm. Retrieved 2006-11-16. 
  8. ^ a b c d "First Flights - XCOR Aerospace". Mojave Virtual Museum. http://www.mojave.ca.us/museum/photos-cftc-1stflights-xcor.htm. Retrieved 2006-11-13. 
  9. ^ a b "Mojave First Flights". Mojave Virtual Museum. http://www.mojave.ca.us/museum/photos-cftc-1stflights.htm. Retrieved 2006-11-13. 
  10. ^ "Virgin's GlobalFlyer Makes Successful First Flight!". Mojave Airport Weblog. http://www.mojaveweblog.com/pages/2004/040305-1a.html. Retrieved 2006-11-16. 
  11. ^ a b Deaver, Bill (2005-12-22). "XCOR EZ-Rocket makes more history at CalCity". Mojave Desert News. 
  12. ^ David, Leonard, "X-37 Flies At Mojave But Encounters Landing Problems", Space.com April 7, 2006
  13. ^ "CATBird transitions to Lockheed for final systems installation", Aerotech News and Review, 2007-03-09]]
  14. ^ "Third person dies in Mojave Airport explosion, names released". KGET. July 27, 2007. http://www.kget.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=cf560cfe-9ee7-4496-83dd-e2ba667d9362. Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  15. ^ "Storied 'Gimli Glider' on final approach," The Globe and Mail
  16. ^ "The Gimli Glider retires to the desert" Air Canada: The Daily(internal employee newsletter), 22 January 2008
  17. ^ "WhiteKnightTwo Makes First Flight Aviation Week". http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct=us/0-3&fp=49501eb0070dbe74&ei=BKNQSaDHKIGAQ6fa8IYC&url=http%3A//www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp%3Fchannel%3Dspace%26id%3Dnews/WHITE12228.xml%26headline%3DWhiteKnightTwo%2520Makes%2520First%2520Flight&cid=1282201533&usg=AFQjCNHttkmrUzszmrTVos8O39sTqBfrug. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  18. ^ a b NASA (2009-11-02). "NASA and X Prize Announce Winners of Lunar Lander Challenge". Press release. http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/nov/HQ_09-258-Lunar_Lander.html. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  19. ^ a b X-Prize Foundation (2009-11-02). "X PRIZE Foundation and NASA Cap Amazing Lunar Lander Competition and Award $2 Million in Prizes". Press release. http://www.xprize.org/media-center/press-release/x-prize-foundation-and-nasa-cap-amazing-lunar-lander-competition-and-awar. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  20. ^ MD-90-30 flight test at The Mojave Virtual Museum Photo Library, Mojave Airport, Flight Test and Development
  21. ^ "Orenda Recip Engines performs final air tractor tests", Aerotech News and Review, 2001-01-26
  22. ^ "SinoSwearingen Tests SJ30-2 at Mojave". http://www.mojaveweblog.com/pages/2004/040803-1.html. Retrieved 2006-11-21. 
  23. ^ Scott, William B, "Morphing Wings", Aviation Week & Space Technology, 2006-11-27
  24. ^ Scott, William B, "White Knight Back in Action", Aviation Week & Space Technology, 2006-11-27
  25. ^ FAI world aviation records database, accessed August 30, 2008
  26. ^ FAI world aviation records database, accessed July 30, 2008
  27. ^ a b c d FAI world aviation records database, accessed August 30, 2008
  28. ^ a b c FAI world aviation records database, accessed August 30, 2008
  29. ^ a b FAI world aviation records database, accessed August 30, 2008
  30. ^ FAI world aviation records database, accessed July 30, 2008
  31. ^ FAI world aviation records database, accessed August 30, 2008
  32. ^ a b c FAI world aviation records database, accessed August 30, 2008

External links








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