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November 26, 2023

Stratolaunch Aims for Commercialized Hypersonics

Twin-Hull "Roc" Testbed Tests Mid-Air Launch Techniques

Stratolaunch LLC has continued its efforts to develop a Mach 5 capable aircraft, helped along by a familiarly Rutanesque design in the form of Scaled Composites' Roc. The Roc, as it happens, serves as an excellent test bed for large rockets and missiles, allowing the company a solid vantage point to help develop Mach 5 capable systems for a government that found itself behind the power curve in similar fashion. And now? Stratolaunch thinks there's a market for civilian hypersonic flight testing - and they might just have that niche all to themselves.

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FAA Review Finds Inadequate ATC Staffing Around the Country

More Overtime Than Ever as Departments Remain Chronically Shortstaffed

The FAA’s National Airspace System (NAS) Safety Review Team (SRT) issued its report into recent SNAFUs involving aircraft in the public eye, and the National Association of Air Traffic Controllers feels quite vindicated. The NATC was glad to read that staffing issues - a longtime point of contention they've had with the FAA - were found to be a large part of recent problems. A shortfall of qualified tower personnel was found to be "eroding the margin of safety and injecting risk into the system". The SRT urged action to "urgently address this staffing crisis.” 

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