May 6 2008,
Aerospace Base Simón Bolívar.
The Ecuadorian Air Force (FAE)
and the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency (EXA)
announced today that they have jointly developed the first and only
plane in latin america capable of performing microgravity flights,
usually called zero-g planes, able to create moments
of null gravity where everything floats on board , like in space.
This development is completely national, and is achieved without any
international aid or help, turning Ecuador the third country in the
world only after the US and Russia in acquiring this technology by their
own means, and this achievement puts Ecuador at the leadership of aero
space development in the region.
The project is the brain child of the first Ecuadorian astronaut and
head of EXA's Space Operations division, Commander Ronnie Nader,
who in October 2007 proposed the project to FAE, who accepted the
challenge and assigned resources and a multidisciplinary team for its
development under the direction of Tcnrl. Patricio Salazar Benavides.
Two aerospace missions where needed and were manned jointly between EXA
and FAE, the EXA/FAE 01, which was the first aerospace mission on
Ecuador's history, successfully performed on April 10, 2008 on board of
a Mirage F1JE; and the EXA/FAE 02 mission successfully performed today
may 6 of 2008 on board of a T39 Sabreliner. Both missions were commanded
EXA designed and built the device that allows the planes recreate the
which is the key for this type of flight, the device was installed on
both missions on board FAE planes, the device was designed by Nader and
and built in the country by EXA engineers .
FAE put the experience of their pilots, the planes and the technical
personnel needed to modify the planes and install the MGCP, FAE now
becomes the only air force in the region to have pilots trained in
During the EXA/FAE 02 mission the Ecuadorian flag
floats on board the
plane for very first time in history over Ecuadorian territory, there
are 10 microgravity planes in the world and the tenth is the Ecuadorian
FUERZA-G UNO – CÓNDOR
Microgravity planes are used as laboratories where gravity is suspended
for moments for executing scientific experiments, recently the
first surgery on zero-g was performed on board one of this planes, they
are also used by space agencies to train their astronauts.
Commander Ronnie Nader's biography
EXA/01 - BP-16/BPC-EF-001-060508