German aerospace research agency DLR has enlisted the services of two business jets for some extensive environmental research intended to measure ozone depletion in the atmosphere. On November 4, a Falcon 20E and a Learjet 35A took off from DLR’s Oberpfaffenhofen base near Munich, along with a Russian Geophysika M-55 high-altitude surveillance aircraft. They were to fly to Darwin in northern Australia, stopping en route in Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, India, Thailand and Brunei.
The Falcon has been fitted with about 1,000 pounds of scientific equipment as part of the Scout 03 project, which is looking at the environmental effect of the transportation industry on the stratosphere. The three aircraft will be flying together at altitudes of between 24,000 feet and 49,000 feet to take readings. The findings will be used to configure new computer models, which will then be able to make more accurate predictions about developments in the ozone layer.
The Germans are also using the trip to promote the ILA airshow in Berlin. The Falcon fuselage is decorated with the ILA logo, and more information about the event can be found at www.ila-berlin.com.