Stratolaunch

Stratolaunch

Stratolaunch is a mobile launch system with three primary components.

WhiteKnightTwo

WhiteKnightTwo

Utilizing an open-architecture design and powered by four Pratt & Whitney turbofans, WhiteKnightTwo provides the high-altitude launch platform for SpaceShipTwo to achieve sub-orbital flight.

Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer

Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer

This record-breaking, single-place, aviation marvel features two external booms flanking a center pod where the pilot sits, on top of which is the aircraft's powerhouse, a Williams turbofan jet engine.

SpaceShipOne

SpaceShipOne

SpaceShipOne, the first private manned spacecraft, is a three-place, high-altitude research rocket, designed for sub-orbital flights at an altitude of 100 km and powered by a unique hybrid rocket motor.

White Knight

White Knight

Initially developed to provide a launch platform at 50,000 ft for SpaceShipOne, White Knight is a three-place, high-altitude, flexible and capable research aircraft.

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Raptor

The Raptor Demonstrator high-altitude, long endurance, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program was conducted under a contract from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to Scaled Composites, LLC. In order to satisfy rigorous performance criteria of flight up to 65,000 ft and 48 hour plus endurance, a high fuel fraction and light weight composite structure were necessary.

In order to reach altitudes of 65,000 ft, the Raptor used a two-stage turbocharged, 100 hp, highly modified Rotax engine. This propulsion package was successfully tested in an altitude chamber to over 70,000 ft altitude. Additionally, Scaled was responsible for the design, manufacturing, and development of the high-altitude propeller system, a 2-blade all-graphite controllable pitch unit. Scaled also designed, developed, and tested all Raptor flight controls, including autopilot, autonomous navigation, and emergency recovery systems.

In 1995, the Raptor program was transferred to NASA under the Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology program as a flying test bed for technologies applicable to future high altitude UAVs.

The airplane was flown in a manned configuration to allow testing of changes to the flight control system with minimal risk to the airframe. The safety pilot was provided manual controls which can override control system commands. This somewhat novel approach allowed rapid development of the vehicle handling qualities and evaluation of the flight controls at low cost and program risk.
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