China Airlines has been chosen to transport the national satellite to the US from China for the fifth time utilising one of its Boeing 747-400Fs.
The carrier assisted the National Space Organization with flying the Formosat-7 to Miami International Airport in Florida on 15 April. The satellite will soon 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.
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.
The main body and components of the Formosat-7 transported by China Airlines weighed over 15 tonnes and were packed into nine pallets to ensure maximum shock protection to avoid all turbulence.
Temperature was 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 airline said the aircraft complies with rigorous vibration and temperature-control requirements during taxiing, take-off, cruising and landing.
And China Airlines’ past successes with transporting satellites and sophisticated wafer testing machines from Japan ensured the aircraft complies with mission requirements throughout the transportation process.