INDEPENDENT NEWS

Desperately Seeking Stratotanker

Published: Tue 7 Dec 1999 12:34 AM
Millennium Twain the founder of NZ's first rocket company has an unusual request.
The former rocket engineer from the US wants to borrow or buy a stratotanker - a high altitude refuelling plane - to test the "fireship" he plans to build in the Waikato.
The "Fireship", Twain says, will be capable of travelling at Mach 25 in a near earth orbit - touching down anywhere in the globe within an hour.
Millennium Twain has been running space plane design workshops in Hamilton and recently registered New Zealand's first rocket ship company - FireShips!
He is undoubtedly an interesting character. On his CV he lists an impressive list of credentials including, "space/plasma physicist, author of 'The Undiscovered Physics', father of the US/Intl Space Station Program, discoverer of the standing lightwave electron, whistle-blower on the US Military B2 Spaceplane Fleet, discoverer of the superluminal lightwave protron structure."
In addition to building his own "fireship", Millennium is planning a space race.
Tentatively named "The Millennium Cup" - it will be an annual rocketplane (spaceplane) race based at Hamilton International Airport, beginning with a first race in January, 2001.
But first up he needs a strato-tanker.
"Our current business plan calls for the purchase (or manufacture) and operation of a StratoTanker for in-air refueling of our first generation FireShip spaceplane," Millennium wrote to Scoop.
"I anticipate it will be a horizontal takeoff and horizontal landing, airport operated vehicle -- with fuel or oxidizer taken onboard in the vicinity of 40,000 feet altitude.
"I need to know:
1) Current vehicles (operational or refurbishable) available from the USA, Russia, China or other. i.e., KC-10, Boeing KC-97, Beale KC-135, Antonov, or others.
2) Specifically, I need to know approximate prices of those aircraft.
3) The availability of StratoTanker engineers, pilots and crew to relocate to New Zealand, perhaps next year."
Unfortunately Scoop couldn't help. "All out of strato-tankers, sorry Millennium", Scoop replied.
Anyone else with a spare stratotanker in the back yard, you now know who to contact.
For more information see… http://www.freespeech.org/rapture/FireShips/index.html
Alastair Thompson
Scoop Publisher
Alastair Thompson is the co-founder of Scoop. He is of Scottish and Irish extraction and from Wellington, New Zealand. Alastair has 24 years experience in the media, at the Dominion, National Business Review, North & South magazine, Straight Furrow newspaper and online since 1997. He is the winner of several journalism awards for business and investigative work.
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