Taiwan’s China Airlines has the honour of transporting the latest national satellite to the US for launch, for the fifth time in the Formosat programme.
A B747-400 freighter assisted Taiwan’s National Space Organisation with flying the Formosat-7 from Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) to Miami International Airport (MIA) earlier this week. The satellite will then be transported to Kennedy Space Center for launch.
China Airlines has been the carrier of choice for national satellite transport missions for the past 20 years, ever since the transportation of Formosat-1. The Formosat-7 is a weather satellite jointly developed by the US and Taiwan, designed to establish a highly reliable satellite constellation that will continue the radio occultation weather observation mission of Formosat-3.
The new system will provide a boost to weather forecasting, climate observation and space weather monitoring. “China Airlines is honored to be chosen again for the transport of such highly sophisticated equipment. All possible protective measures have been taken to support the development of national aerospace technologies and to serve as a witness to this historic moment,” the carrier says.
The main body and components of the Formosat-7 to be transported by China Airlines weigh over 15 tonnes and were packed into nine pallets to ensure maximum shock protection with the flight plan avoiding all known turbulence.
Temperature is maintained at 20 degrees Celsius through the journey with shock-absorbing padding to be used during loading/unloading to minimise the amount of vibration experienced by the satellite. The aircraft complies with rigorous vibration and temperature-control requirements during taxiing, take-off, cruising and landing.
“China Airlines’ past successes with transporting satellites and sophisticated wafer testing machines from Japan ensures that the aircraft complies with mission requirements throughout the transportation process,” China Airlines says.
The professional transportation services of China Airlines have won the trust and praise of its users.
The carrier has extensive experience with the transportation of special cargo such as precision instruments, precious antiques, large machinery and live animals. In 2017, China Airlines was chosen to transport Formosat-5, the first indigenously developed satellite in Taiwan; in 2018, semiconductor giant, TSMC, specified China Airlines’ charter service for the transportation of large machinery when expanding its Nanjing plant.
In addition to high-value precision instruments, China Airlines says it was also the preferred carrier for transporting precious relics from around the world including artworks from the Musée d’ Orsay, rare stone sculptures from Foguangshan Temple, and the statue of the Wangmu Goddess from Songshan’s Cihuitang for overseas exhibition.
Recent assignments undertaken by China Airlines include the transportation of exhibits from the National Palace Museum in Taiwan to an exhibition in Sydney and artifacts on loan to Taiwan from the Museum of Oriental Ceramics in Osaka.
International performers and celebrities such as Coldplay, Madonna, and the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra have all used China Airlines to transport their equipment as well.
“China Airlines has therefore established a reputation for professionalism, advanced techniques, quality and efficiency in cargo transportation,” the carrier adds.