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Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo takes its maiden voyage

Posted in Aircraft by Conner Flynn on December 22nd, 2008

Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo takes its maiden voyageThey did ground tests last week, but yesterday morning WhiteKnightTwo, the strange looking double-wide plane that will carry SpaceShipTwo and its cargo on suborbital spaceflights, finally took off on its maiden voyage. Four Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308A engines carried the craft into the air.

The flight didn’t last long, just under an hour, and apparently all went perfectly according to plan. The design is pretty amazing and makes we realize that we may just be living in the beginning of Star Trek times, at long last. Soon they’ll be building the Enterprise in orbit.

Virgin Galactic unveils WhiteKnightTwo

Posted in Aircraft by Conner Flynn on July 28th, 2008

Virgin Galactic unveils WhiteKnightTwo
The WhiteKnightTwo is the aircraft that will launch SpaceShipTwo into suborbital space. Today in the Mojave desert, those who are still dreaming the dream unveiled the top-secret craft. The craft’s first job is to serve as a flight simulator next month for pilots. Pilots that will shuttle citizens into space and usher in a new era of space travel. Assuming everything goes as planned, it should begin flight testing at the end of September. Except for the engines and landing gear, the entire craft is made from carbon fiber composite.

According to Virgin Galactic, both ships will be ready for their first flight together in 2009 or 2010. Fittingly, Richard Branson and his family will be the first onboard. The space flight lasts 2.5-hours with five minutes of weightlessness before the ship comes back to Earth.