Local

May 5, 2017
 

First feather flight of VSS Unity completed

Virgin Spaceship Unity flies freely after being released from Virgin Mothership Eve May 1, 2017. During this test, the feather re-entry system was activated in flight for the first time.

On May 1, 2017, VSS Unity’s “feather” re-entry system was activated in flight for the first time over the Mojave Desert.

VSS Unity was piloted by Mark Stucky and Mike Masucci, with pilots Nicola Pecile and CJ Sturckow as well as flight test engineer Dustin Mosher in carrier aircraft VMS Eve. This test flight was the fourth glide flight (and eighth flight overall) of VSS Unity, and the 27th flight of White Knight Two VMS Eve.

The new spacecraft took off beneath the White Knight Two carrier at about 10:40 a.m. About 40 minutes later, Unity was released at an altitude of 51,000 feet to begin the test flight.

“We’d learned enough from our past test flights to safely take the next step forward in our thorough test flight program,” said a Virgin Galactic release. “That step happened on a successful test flight conducted this morning from the Mojave Air and Space Port, during which we tested VSS Unity’s ‘feather’ re-entry system in flight for the first time.”

This test follows after extensive testing of the feather system on the ground.

Full analysis of the data from the flight will take time; “but initial reports from the pilots and from mission control are extremely encouraging.”

“Once data reviews are complete, we will move forward with our testing program — pressing onward with additional glide flights designed to expand our envelope of flight weights and centers of gravity,” said the Virgin Galactic release.
 

VSS Unity & VMS Eve prepare for another morning of flying May 1, 2017. During this test, the feather re-entry system was activated in flight for the first time.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines – December 8, 2017

News Air Force shoots down possibility of enlisted combat pilots – Despite an email to airmen that discussed the potential for enlisted members to fly combat aircraft, the Air Force is now insisting that it is focused solely on studying how airmen learn.   An Afghan fight the U.S. is winning – The Special Forces...
 
 

News Briefs – December 11, 2017

U.S. Navy prepares to comb sea bed for crashed plane, sailors The U.S. Navy said it will deploy deep water salvage experts to search for a transport aircraft that crashed in the western Pacific last month, killing three sailors. The C-2A Greyhound aircraft was traveling to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan when it crashed...
 
 
army-modernization2

US Army Futures Command to reform modernization, says secretary of the Army

Army photograph Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark T. Esper speaks before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Dec. 7, 2017. The new U.S. Army Futures Command with its eight cross-functional teams, or CFTs, will provide the unity o...