You need to be at least 18 years old to take a gravity-free flight. There is no upper age limit. Health is the most important deciding factor. Several 70-year-olds have already taken our flight and there is no reason why someone older than that should not fly. However, some flights are open at the age of 14 years old.
Yes, you need to ask your general practitioner, a flight physician or any other medical doctor to give you a medical examination. You also need to have an electrocardiogram. Learn more on the “Medical fitness” page.
People with certain diseases or medical conditions are advised not to take a parabolic flight. The table below gives some example. This list is not exhaustive and some medical conditions may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Ask your physician for more details.
People with the following illnesses or conditions are advised not to take a parabolic flight *
|Heart conditions||Angina pectoris, recent heart attack, poorly balanced hypertension|
|Lung diseases||Regular asthma attacks|
|ENT diseases||Dizziness, severe deafness|
|Other conditions||Claustrophobia, pregnancy, certain courses of medication|
* This list is not complete. Please ask your physician for more details during your medical examination
You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete! You just have to be reasonably fit. For example, you should be able to climb two flights of stairs without getting out of breath.
According to statistics, airliners are the safest form of transport. Although a parabolic flight is not, in absolute terms, as safe as a normal passenger transport flight, safety criteria are tougher in France than elsewhere. Manufacturer studies and meticulous reviews by the French and European authorities make this a very safe activity.
The A310 Zero G aircraft performs maneuvers in complete safety within the flight envelope for which it was designed. This aircraft is specially equipped for parabolic flights and flown by highly experienced test pilots. It is maintained according to a specific maintenance protocol, adapted to this particular use.
On board the aircraft, under gravity-free conditions, the flight crew will help you control your movements and avoid collisions. The instructors and safety personnel will warn you before gravity brings you back down to the floor of the aircraft at the end of the period of weightlessness, and assist you if necessary, but this transition is usually very smooth.
On your first parabolic flight, you may feel travel sick. To minimize this risk, we provide pre-flight medication and helpful advice.
Do not drink too much alcohol the day before the flight, go to bed early, eat a regular breakfast, refrain from smoking on the morning of the flight, and stay relaxed. During the flight, keep your head still during the acceleration phases and wait until you are accustomed to your new environment before doing flips.
If you still feel travel sick during the flight (1 in 10 passengers on average), the discomfort is likely to be minimal and short-lived: most people feel better after resting for a few minutes.
You may have found photos of the Airbus Zero G with its nose lifted into the air or pointing down to the ground unsettling. In fact, on board the aircraft, you will not be aware of this movement because the windows are sealed in the area where you experience weightlessness.
Lying on a foam mat, you will just feel the effect of the acceleration. Your body will weigh almost twice its normal weight, as if someone were lying on top of you for twenty seconds.
Nor will you slide down the cabin like a mountaineer down a rockface. Your body will simply be held down to the mat. During the periods of weightlessness, the sensation of floating is so surprising that you will hear cries of joy and amazement throughout the aircraft. The parabolas always end with applause and laughter.
Competitions have already been organized by the French National Center for Space Studies (CNES), brands and during astronomy festivals. Dozen of winners have discovered weightlessness in this way. Keep your eyes peeled!
Once the engines are running, passengers are seated and fasten their seatbelts, as on a normal commercial aircraft. After takeoff, the pilots fly the aircraft to a specific air zone where the parabolas will take place.
With other members of your group and your instructor, you will then move to the area of the cabin where you will float weightlessly. For one hour, the pilots will fly 15 parabolas with breaks in between. You will do 12 gravity-free parabolas, one parabola where you experience martian gravity (0.38 g) and two parabolas under lunar gravity conditions (0.16 g).
As the aircraft returns to Earth, you will be asked to go back to your seats for the descent and landing.
Of course! You can bring a small camera, a small video camera or your smartphone on board, and take as many photos as you like! However, we would advise you not to do so, since this may distract you from getting the most out of your gravity-free experience. What’s more, a cameraman, two photographers and around a dozen fixed cameras also film and photograph you from start to finish. We take dozens of photographs of you and a video of your entire flight, which are given to you after the flight – so make the most of your gravity-free experience instead!
Yes, if you have your medical examination within the agreed time period after booking your flight.
You are requested to have your medical examination within 14 days of booking your flight if you book at least 45 days before the flight, and within 7 days of booking your flight if you book less than 45 days before your flight.
Yes, if you live in Europe. To learn more, visit the Legal Framework and Insurance page on our website.
Yes, as a passenger on an Air Zero G flight, you are automatically insured (insurance underwritten by Air Courtage Assurances / AWAC) up to a value of €300,000 per person.
However, we suggest you check the clauses and provisions of your personal insurance, including any restrictions on sporting and aeronautical activities.
You may take out optional extension of cover of up to €650,000 per person. Cancellation insurance is also available.
To learn more, visit the Legal Framework and Insurance page on our website.
You may only take non-hazardous items on board that can be slipped into the pockets of your flying suit; they should preferably be your favorite objects, such as a small cuddly toy, a photo of your loved ones, and so on. You may carry a video camera, a camera or a smartphone but they must have a strap. If you wish to bring bulkier items on board, please send a request before your flight to avoid disappointment on the day.
There is no preparation required in terms of your physical condition or fitness. The most important thing is to return the requested documents (data form and medical certificate) within the agreed time period.
Get a good night’s sleep the day before your flight and eat a regular breakfast before you arrive. As you will be provided with a flying suit and shoes, you do not have to bring any special clothing.
If you wear glasses and they do not slip down your nose when you lower your head, do not worry: you will not lose them during the flight. Otherwise you can use a lanyard or leave them on the floor.
The most important safety guidelines are the following:
- Stay seated with your seatbelt attached during takeoff and landing
- Listen to the cockpit announcements alerting you to the hypergravity phases, and the beginning and end of the gravity-free phases, in order to return to the floor in an appropriate position
- Avoid sudden or random movements that might injure other passengers (such as kicking your legs)
- Follow all the instructions you are given during the briefing and by the instructors and flight safety officers on board
Yes, as long as you comply our image copyright rules: the passenger authorizes Novespace/Air Zero G to photograph and/or film them on Novespace’s premises and on board the aircraft, and to use their image for promotional and communication purposes, including for advertising and commercial reasons. The passenger is not authorized to sell or use images taken by them or by a third party on Novespace’s premises or on board the aircraft for advertising or commercial purposes.
The emissions of all flights operated by Novespace, including scientific research flights, are offset by voluntary technology investments in developing countries, delivering reductions in excess of our emissions.
Gravitation is a phenomenon by which all things with mass in the universe are brought towards each other. It is one of four fundamental forces of interaction that link elementary particles to each other in the universe and allow for cohesion of matter at every level (atomic nuclei, atoms, particles, bodies, stars, galaxies and so on).
Gravity is the force associated with the phenomenon of gravitation, that is, the force that objects with mass in the universe exercise on each other. The force depends on their mass and the distance between them.
On Earth, for example, a force acts on all objects, pushing them to the center of our planet: we call this force gravity, including when it acts close to a planet, which is why a dropped object falls to the floor. It influences most phenomena on Earth, such as chemical reactions, and physical and physiological effects.
The mass of a body or object is the amount of matter it contains (atoms and molecules). Since the composition of an object does not vary according to its position, mass is therefore constant: a man placed on the surface of the Earth or Moon always has the same mass. The unit of mass is the kilogram, but it is usually referred to in everyday language as weight, which is not the same and is therefore confusing.
The weight of a body or an object is the force that results from gravity acting on its mass by a celestial body. As gravity varies according to the celestial body in question, the weight of a body therefore varies according to the place where it is measured in the universe: a man weighs six times less on the Moon than on Earth. The unit of weight is the Newton, not the kilogram. However, you can only feel your own weight directly if you are in contact with the ground or any obstacle that exerts a reaction force against it.
Weightlessness is more or less a synonym of microgravity. The choice of term largely depends on who you are. Scientists use the word microgravity.
Weightlessness is the state of free fall in a vacuum, or the loss of sensation of gravity, due to the fact that we are subject only to the force of gravitation and no other force. In practical terms, for a human being, this situation occurs when they are no longer in contact with the ground or an obstacle that allows them to feel their weight, and the air’s reaction force is negligible. For example, if a man jumps from a table, he is for a fraction of a second in weightlessness until he hits the ground. Physically, weightlessness occurs when a body is in “free fall”, that is. and subject only to the force of gravity, but does not encounter any reaction force that would allow it to feel its weight. It is important to remember that gravity has not disappeared in weightlessness: it is still present, but its effect (the weight) is no longer felt. At the altitude of the international space station, for example, the Earth’s gravity value is still 90% that of the Earth’s surface. If astronauts are in weightlessness, it is not because gravity has disappeared. They are in weightlessness because the space station and themselves are in free fall around the earth, and only subject to the force of gravity (as the space station travels at high speed, it does not fall directly to Earth but remains in orbit).
Microgravity means the same thing as weightlessness. This is paradoxical, since an object only subject to gravitational forces is in microgravity. It can be justified by asserting, as Einstein did, that an observer in free fall cannot know, at a local scale, whether they are subject only to gravitational force or whether all gravitational forces have disappeared.
The letters “Zero G” are written on the fuselage of the Novespace Airbus, and often, in common usage, we speak of a “zero g flight”, or a “0 g” parabola, because that is what an accelerometer shows. An accelerometer does not measure gravitational acceleration (it shows 0 in free fall), but rather the acceleration with respect to a benchmark in free fall. This is why, when the accelerometer is placed on a table while stationary, it reads “1 g”.