'Eve' Has Legs: WhiteKnightTwo Achieves Fastest And Longest Flights Yet | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 12.22.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 12.22.14 **
** Airborne 12.19.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 12.19.14 **
** Airborne 12.17.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 12.17.14 **

Sat, Mar 28, 2009

'Eve' Has Legs: WhiteKnightTwo Achieves Fastest And Longest Flights Yet

SS2 Carrier Ship Flies Over 2.5 Hours At Over 18,000 Feet

Virgin Galactic said Friday the test flight program for WhiteKnightTwo (WK2), the space launch vehicle being developed for the company's SpaceShipTwo (SS2) commercial spacecraft, has now completed its third successful test flight.

The recent flight the longest and fastest to date, with a duration of over two and half hours, maximum speed of 140 knots and an altitude of over 18,000 ft. The flight also saw seven more tests successfully completed -- including in-flight engine restarts, engine thrust asymmetry assessment and continued expansion of WK2's operating envelope and evaluation of WK2's handling qualities.

Christened "Eve" in honor of Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson's mother, WK2 is the world's largest flying all-carbon composite aircraft. Designed by Burt Rutan and built by Scaled Composites, the twin-fuselage, thin-winged aircraft looks like nothing else flying, and is designed to launch as many as four spaceflights per day onboard SpaceShipTwo.

In addition to launching SS2, WhiteKnightTwo will also be used to train paying astronauts ahead of their SS2 flights. It also has a range of science applications, including the potential to launch an unmanned rocket capable of putting a satellite into low Earth orbit.

"This is a truly remarkable aviation vehicle and, although it might look unique from the ground it is not strange to fly in any way and is in fact a great piloting experience," said test pilot Peter Siebold, who has flown all three missions to date. "Now the stratosphere is the limit as we will continually test Eve (WK2) for the next few months up to her ceiling of above 50,000 ft."

"WhiteKnightTwo really is an impressive vehicle and it represents the apogee of the application of carbon composites to aerospace, all of us at Scaled are tremendously excited by its capabilities," added Rutan. "I believe the vehicle will be developed and sold for a variety of launch applications beyond the initial requirements of Virgin Galactic."

FMI: www.virgingalactic.com, www.scaled.com

Advertisement

More News

Virgin America First To Offer Gogo's ATG-4 Inflight WiFi Service Fleetwide

New ATG-4 WiFi Brings Increased Bandwidth And Faster Browsing Speeds For Flyers At 35,000 Feet Virgin America has rolled out Gogo's faster ATG-4 WiFi service fleetwide, with the co>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (12.22.14)

"It was a long time goal for both sisters to fly together and that dream recently came true. The women recently operated flight 1480 from FLL to DCA making them the first ever sist>[...]

Airborne 12.19.14: Falcon 8X Unveiled, Sportys 172LITE, Bizarre CA AvGas Lawsuit

Also: ANN/Airborne's Crystal Ball, Lear70/75 Mexico Cert, Carnegie Mellon's Lunar Rover, Dragon Delays Dassault Aviation rolled back the curtains earlier this week on the ultra-lon>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (12.21.14)

"We have received extremely positive feedback from our Amadeus A-CDM Portal stakeholders. It is easy to use and enables them to make better decisions that contribute to smoother an>[...]

London Gatwick Airport Increases Runway Capacity To 55 Flights Per Hour

Estimates An Additional 2 Million Passengers On A Single Runway Assisted By Amadeus A-CDM Portal London Gatwick Airport (LGW) is the first to implement a cloud-based Airport-Collab>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC