Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo successor completes first test flight

posted by
December 5, 2016
Posted in News, PND News

"Virgin Galactic's successor to its SpaceShipTwo spacecraft has successfully performed its first unpowered glide and landing. The event comes two years after the tragic fatal crash of the spaceship's first iteration over the Mojave Desert, when pilot Michael Alsbury was killed and his co-pilot Peter Siebold seriously injured. In July 2015, a nine-month investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the incident was caused by pilot error and poor safety procedures. On 4 December the second iteration, VSS Unity, was safely steered by pilots Mark Stucky and Dave Mackay after being taken to an altitude of 50,000 feet by Virgin's four-engine WhiteKnightTwo. The entire flight took one hour and 20 minutes, only ten of which consisted of the free-glide, during which VSS Unity reached a maximum speed of Mach 0.6 (about 735 km/h). It was the VSS Unity's fifth flight with WhiteKnightTwo carrying it, but the first time it was piloted and landed alone." (12/05/16)  

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