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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WhiteKnightTwo Flight Test Summaries

The following list includes summaries of the flight test activity of the WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) aircraft. WhiteKnightTwo is the mothership aircraft for SpaceShipTwo (SS2) and potentially other large payloads. It is equipped with many common system components to SS2 (cabin, ECS, speed-brake actuators, avionics, trim servos, air data, test data, video and TM). Thus, the flight test program of WK2 includes many tests that focus on SS2 systems qualification and maturity.

Flight Test Legend: CC = Captive Carry
GF = Glide Flight
P = Powered Flight
GC = Aborted Glide Flight

Flight: 48 / 05GC (CC07)
Date: 14 Feb 11
Flight Time: 1.35 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: Inks
SS2 Pilot Siebold SS2 CoPilot Alsbury
GS Crew: Binnie, Tighe, Bassett, Verderame, Maisler, Kelley, Reid, Zeitlin, Knupp, Cassebeer

Objectives:
Clean release
Expand flutter envelope
Weight expansion
Pilot proficiency

Results:
Due to out of limit winds, conducted simulated mission and systems testing.

Flight: 47 / GF04
Date: 13 Jan 11
Flight Time: 1.4 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Alsbury WK2 FTE: Knupp
SS2 Pilot Stucky SS2 CoPilot Nichols

Objectives:
SS2 release
Touch-and-Goes


Results:
All objectives achieved.

Flight: 46
Date: 03 Dec 10
Flight Time: 2.5 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: Knupp
GS Crew Maisler

Objectives:
Window fogging evaluation
SS2 glide flight and WK2 pilot and co-pilot landing proficiency

Results:
All objectives achieved.

Flight: 45 / GF03
Date: 17 Nov 10
Flight Time: 2 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Alsbury WK2 FTE: Morgan
SS2 Pilot Siebold SS2 CoPilot Nichols

Objectives:
SS2 release mission

Results:
All objectives achieved.

Flight: 44 / GF02
Date: 28 Oct 10
Flight Time: 1.1 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: Tighe
SS2 Pilot: Stucky SS2 CoPilot: Alsbury

Objectives:
SS2 release mission

Results:
All objectives achieved.

Flight: 43 / CC06
Date: 22 Oct 10
Flight Time: 3.4 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: Inks
GS Crew: Kelley, Kalogiannis, Tighe

Objectives:
Return flight from Spaceport America runway dedication event
Instrument approach currency
SS2 approach practice


Results:
All objectives achieved.

Flight: 42 / CC05
Date: 22 Oct 10
Flight Time: 3.4 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: Inks
GS Crew: Kelley, Kalogiannis, Tighe

Objectives:
First SS2 cross country flight
Spaceport America runway dedication event
Environmental control system high-altitude stress test
Extended flight in instrument meteorological conditions
SS2 approach replication

Results:
All objectives achieved.

Flight: 41 / GF01
Date: 10 Oct 10
Flight Time: 1.5 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Kalogiannis WK2 FTE: Persall
SS2 Pilot Siebold SS2 CoPilot Alsbury    

Objectives:
SS2 launch mission
NM flight maneuver practice

Results:
All objectives achieved. Launched SS2 at 46,000 ft. Practiced flight maneuver routine for NM.

Flight: 40
Date: 05 Oct 10
Flight Time: 2 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Alsbury WK2 FTE: Tighe

Objectives:
SS2 release dry run
Glide flight practice
SS2 approach simulations
Crew proficiency
ECS testing

Results:
All objectives achieved. Rehearsal SS2 mission performed. Three simulated SS2 approaches to low approaches followed by a full stop landing.

Flight: 39 / CC04
Date: 30 Sep 10
Flight Time: 5 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Kalogiannis WK2 FTE: Persall
SS2 Pilot: Siebold SS2 CoPilot: Alsbury    

Objectives:
SS2 systems evaluation
TM performance
SS2 flutter evaluation
Pilot proficiency
SS2 approach evaluation

Results:
All objectives achieved. Rehearsal mission to evaluate team and systems for early glides was performed. Simulated SS2 mission was flown to low approach. WK2 systems functioned as desired to support SS2 glide mission

Flight: 38
Date: 13 Sep 10
Flight Time: 2.5 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Stucky WK2 FTE: Inks

Objectives:
Fixed gear performance
Simulated SS2 glide mission
Simulated SS2 approaches
Pilot T&G proficiency (normal patterns)
Pylon evaluation
Rudder repair evaluation
Lateral stability evaluation
ECS performance evaluation

Results:
All objectives achieved. Two SS2 approaches to low approach. Two touch-and-go approaches. One full stop. Fixes/modifications cleared for SS2 ops.

Flight: 37
Date: 19 Aug 10
Flight Time: 1.5 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: Zeitlin

Objectives:
Dark cockpit APU start
Rudder centering test
Simulated SS2 glide mission
Simulated SS2 approaches
Pilot proficiency

Results:
All flight objectives achieved. On the fifth touch-and-go, a minor incident occurred on the runway at Mojave airport, which involved a mechanical problem with the left hand side landing gear of WK2. The aircraft was braked to maintain centerline, meanwhile, the engines and systems were secured. No injuries were sustained.

Flight: 36
Date: 18 Aug 10
Flight Time: 3.9 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Alsbury WK2 FTE: Maisler

Objectives:
APU ground and air evaluation (to include aircraft engine restarts at high altitude)
Spoil/flap envelope expansion
ECS data collection
SS2 GF01 mission practice
SS2 approach practice
Crew proficiency and training
Ongoing WK2 system evaluations

Results:
All objectives achieved. Five SS2 approaches flown. Eight WK2 practice landings flown.

Flight: 35
Date: 11 Aug 10
Flight Time: 3.7 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Alsbury WK2 FTE: Agold

Objectives:
SS2 GF01 mission practice
SS2 approach practice
Crew proficiency and training
Ongoing WK2 system evaluations

Results:
All objectives achieved. Nine SS2 approaches flown.

Flight: 34
Date: 03 Aug 10
Flight Time: 5.8 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: Maisler

Objectives:
SS2 GF01 mission practice
SS2 approach practice
Crew proficiency and training

Results:
All objectives achieved. Sixteen practice landings flown. Seven simulated SS2 approaches flown.

Flight: 33 / CC03
Date: 15 Jul 10
Flight Time: 6.2 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Kalogiannis WK2 FTE: Maisler
SS2 Pilot: Siebold SS2 CoPilot: Alsbury    

Objectives:
SS2 manned captive carry
Mated flutter evaluation
SS2 systems evaluation
SS2 mission rehearsal

Results:
Objectives achieved. Pilots in SS2 evaluated the systems and procedures for the upcoming glide flights. A simulated SS2 mission was flown from release down to low approach. Performed low approach then full stop on Runway 30.

Flight: 32
Date: 01 Jul 10
Flight Time: 5.3 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Stucky WK2 FTE: Harvey

Objectives:
SS2 GF01 mission practice
SS2 approach practice
Crew proficiency and training

Results:
All objectives achieved. Multiple SS2 approaches flown.

Flight: 31
Date: 30 Jun 10
Flight Time: 5.3 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Siebold WK2 FTE: Agold

Objectives:
Payload ECS heat characterization
SS2 release dry run
SS2 GF01 mission practice
SS2 approach practice
Crew proficiency and training

Results:
All objectives achieved. Multiple SS2 approaches flown to touchdown.

Flight: 30
Date: 24 Jun 10
Flight Time: 2 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Alsbury WK2 FTE: Reeder

Objectives:
SS2 approach simulations
GF01 glide card practice
Crew proficiency and training


Results:
All objectives achieved. Multiple SS2 approaches flown to touchdown.

Flight: 29
Date: 24 Jun 10
Flight Time: 3.4 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: Persall

Objectives:
SS2 release dry run
SS2 GF01 mission practice
SS2 approach practice
Crew proficiency and training

Results:
All objectives achieved. Multiple SS2 approaches flown to touchdown.

Flight: 28
Date: 15 Jun 10
Flight Time: 5.3 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Stucky WK2 FTE: M. Stinemetze

Objectives:
SS2 mission practice
ECS evaluation
Control evaluation
Low fuel evaluation
Window fog evaluation

Results:
All objectives achieved. Climbed to 51,500 ft and the ECS performed flawlessly. Flew cross-country to descend over the Pacific to evaluate window fogging. Upon return to the desert, performed controls evaluation which showed good positive control with power loss. Performed "roller coasters" (45° climb, low g pushover followed by 30° nose low dive) to evaluate low fuel states. Touch-and-goes were uneventful. Full stop landing on Rwy 26.

Flight: 27 / CC02
Date: 16 May 10
Flight Time: 4.7 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Stucky WK2 FTE: Maisler

Objectives:
SS2 pressurization evaluation
SS2 electrical system evaluation
SS2 avionics performance evaluation
SS2 approaches
Post-Flight cold soaked systems testing

Results:
All objectives achieved. SS2 was pressurized and powered from the mothership in flight. Peak altitude was 51,000 ft which allowed for a long cold-soak to evaluate the robustness of the hardware. A simulated Spaceship descent/glide mission was made from altitude to high key. Several approaches followed for pilot training/proficiency.

Flight: 26
Date: 01 May 10
Flight Time: 5.5 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Shane WK2 FTE: Maisler

Objectives:
New hydraulic speedbrake evaluation
Pylon on altitude envelope expansion
SS2 mission practice
Pilot qualitative evaluation

Results:
All objectives achieved. New hydraulically actuated speedbrakes performed as designed. Expanded envelope with pylon installed to 51,000 ft. SS2 approaches flown to RWY 30. For the first time on the program, crew landed on the shorter, narrower 26 RWY.

Flight: 25 / CC01
Date: 22 Mar 10
Flight Time: 2.9 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: Kalogiannis

Objectives:
Captive taxi handling
Speed/altitude envelope expansion
Captive performance, stability and control evaluation
SS2 systems evaluation
Photo and video

Results:
All objectives achieved. Systems performed as designed. Kudos to the entire team for executing an exceptionally clean and successful first captive flight!

Flight: 24
Date: 04 Mar 10
Flight Time: 3.7 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: Kalogiannis

Objectives:
Nosegear mod evaluation
Pylon evaluation
ECS evaluation

Results:
Objectives met. Successful evaluation of launch pylon effect on aircraft performance, handling and controls. Fired pylon mechanism in flight for first time.

Flight: 23
Date: 28 Jan 10
Flight Time: 3.1 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Binnie WK2 FTE: Kalogiannis

Objectives:
Launch pylon envelope expansion and performance effects
Landing gear door evaluation
SpaceShipTwo approach guidance evaluation
Pilot proficiency

Results:
Launch pylon and gear doors performed well. Multiple SpaceShipTwo approaches flown.

Flight: 22
Date: 17 Oct 09
Flight Time: 1.2 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Kalogiannis WK2 FTE: M. Stinemetze

Objectives:
Spoilflap loads data
Continued ECS testing
GPS airspeed calibration
Return from Edwards Air Show

Results:
Objectives achieved. Airborne pickup and unrestricted climb departure from Edwards Open House with WK.

Flight: 21
Date: 17 Oct 09
Flight Time: 1.3 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Kalogiannis WK2 FTE: M. Stinemetze

Objectives:
Spoilflap loads data
ECS evaluation
GPS airspeed calibration
Roll effects of angle of attack
Edwards Air Show practice

Results:
GPS airspeed cal and approaches scrubbed for time. Other objectives achieved. Demo performed on arrival to Edwards Air Force Base "Flight Test Nation" Open House/Air Show.

Flight: 20
Date: 15 Oct 09
Flight Time: 3.5 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Kalogiannis WK2 FTE: M. Stinemetze

Objectives:
Modified spoilflap envelope expansion
Pressurization/ECS functionality with SS2 valves to 50,000 ft
Landing gear/spoilflap cold soak extension retraction
Fuel system temperature evaluation
Avionics and instrument approach checkout
Aircrew proficiency
Edwards Air Show practice


Results:
Objectives achieved.

Flight: 19
Date: 01 Aug 09
Flight Time: 5.1 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: Morgan

Objectives:
Return to Mojave

Results:
Evaluated systems functionality and performance on return trip to Mojave.

Flight: 18
Date: 31 Jul 09
Flight Time: 0.2 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: Morgan

Objectives:
Oshkosh demo flight

Results:
Demo flight performed.

Flight: 17
Date: 28 Jul 09
Flight Time: 0.2 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: Branson

Objectives:
Oshkosh demo flight

Results:
Demo flight performed.

Flight: 16
Date: 27 Jul 09
Flight Time: 5.5 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: Morgan

Objectives:
Cross country to Oshkosh AirVenture

Results:
Evaluated systems functionality and performance on trip to Oshkosh. Arrived at KOSH and performed short demo flight.

Flight: 15
Date: 21 Jul 09
Flight Time: 5.7 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: Morgan

Objectives:
Oshkosh dress rehearsal

Results:
Objectives achieved. Practiced all procedures and plans in preparation for our long cross country to the Oshkosh AirVenture Convention. Practiced demo flight after simulated mission profile.

Flight: 14
Date: 17 Jul 09
Flight Time: 0.9 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Siebold WK2 FTE: None

Objectives:
Evaluate new DAS build
Instrument approach practice
FAA monitored flight for pilot "Type Rating"

Results:
All objectives completed. Rating Issued.

Flight: 13
Date: 14 Jul 09
Flight Time: 5 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Siebold WK2 FTE: None

Objectives:
Evaluate control surface mods
Evaluate pitot probe relocation
Instrument approach practice
Pilot LOA practice

Results:
All objectives completed. Peak altitude for flight 51,000 ft. Instrument approaches practiced. LOA maneuvers practiced.

Flight: 12
Date: 09 Jul 09
Flight Time: 4.5 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Siebold WK2 FTE: Nichols

Objectives:
ECS evaluation
Third seat evaluation
Performance
Landing gear envelope expansion

Results:
All objectives completed. ECS shows exceptional cabin heating and cooling capability. Third seat adequate for test engineer duties. Gear extended out to 160 KEAS. Peak altitude for flight 51,000 ft. Instrument approach and touch-and-go at Victorville.

Flight: 11
Date: 20 Jun 09
Flight Time: 3 hr (planned)        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: None

Objectives:
Flyby at Los Cruses, NM in support of Spaceport America event
Instrument approaches

Results:
Despite mechanical issues the day before, the Scaled team was able to turn the jet around for a Saturday morning demo at Los Cruses. Several flybys and approaches were performed for spectators in support of the Spaceport America groundbreaking. Systems were evaluated on the high altitude return leg to Mojave. One simulated approach was made to runway 26 before landing on 30.

Flight: 10
Date: 19 Jun 09
Flight Time: 6 hr (planned)        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: None

Objectives:
To evaluate performance, stability and control, and cold soak effects on first long cross country flyby at Spaceport America as able.

Results:
En route testing above 40,000 ft was uneventful. During the descent toward the Spaceport America groundbreaking we experienced a failure of a speedbrake actuator. Based on facilities available and logistics for our ground crew, the pilots elected to make a precautionary landing at Williams Gateway airport near Phoenix. Our ground crew is on site and we hope to return to Mojave either this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

Flight: 09
Date: 15 Jun 09
Flight Time: 7.5 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Stucky WK2 FTE: None

Objectives:
Weight expansion at mid cg
Further pressurization/ECS functionality checks to 51,000 ft
Speed envelope expansion
Airborne engine relights

Results:
All objectives completed. Pressurization and ECS worked as designed. Speed envelope expanded with the gear up to 370 KTAS. Peak altitudes increased to 52,400 ft. Performance, stability and handling evaluation performed at altitude. Engines were shut down and restarted per plan. Practiced instrument approaches.

Flight: 08
Date: 11 Jun 09
Flight Time: 1 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: None

Objectives:
FAA monitored flight for issuance of pilot letter of authorization

Results:
Letter of authorization issued

Flight: 07
Date: 08 Jun 09
Flight Time: 6.1 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Alsbury WK2 FTE: None

Objectives:
Weight expansion at mid cg
Further pressurization/ECS functionality checks to 45,000 ft
Speed envelope expansion
G envelope expansion
Airborne engine relights


Results:
All objectives completed. Pressurization and ECS worked as designed. Speed envelope expanded with the gear up and down to 340 KTAS. Peak altitude increased to 45,000 ft. Wind-up turns were performed to 2.5 g's. Engines were shut down and restarted per plan.

Flight: 06
Date: 02 Jun 09
Flight Time: 3.1 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: None

Objectives:
Weight expansion at mid cg
Further pressurization/ECS functionality checks to 35,000 ft
Gear-down speed envelope expansion


Results:
All objectives completed. Pressurization and ECS worked as designed. Speed envelope expanded to 250 KTAS with the gear down. Peak altitude increased to 35,000 ft. Starship was onboard for video and safety chase. Two low approaches were followed by a full stop landing.

Flight: 05
Date: 20 May 09
Flight Time: 3 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: None

Objectives:
Aft center of gravity handling qualities evaluation
Initial evaluation of pressurization and environmental control systems (ECS)

Results:
All objectives completed. Pressurization and ECS worked as designed. Airspeed increased to 188 KTAS. Max altitude 20,000 ft. After landing, conducted an emergency response drill, including both Scaled and Mojave Air and Space Port resources.

Flight: 04
Date: 20 Apr 09
Flight Time: 4 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Binnie WK2 FTE: None

Objectives:
New pilot integration
Envelope expansion
Landing gear evaluation


Results:
Objectives achieved. Stability and controls, performance and speed brakes evaluated to 140 KTAS, max 2 g's and altitude of 18,000 ft. Landing gear cycled at 100 KTAS. Asymmetric thrust on go-around resulted in large pitch and yaw excursions including tail contact with ground.

Flight: 03
Date: 25 Mar 09
Flight Time: 2.3 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Morgan WK2 FTE: None

Objectives:
Envelope expansion
Landing gear evaluation
Engine in-flight restarts


Results:
Objectives achieved. Stability and controls, performance and speed brakes evaluated to 135 KTAS. Max altitude 20,000 ft. Engine in-flight restarts were cooler than planned.

Flight: 02
Date: 04 Feb 09
Flight Time: 1.5 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: None

Objectives:
Envelope expansion

Results:
Objectives achieved. Gear down speed expansion to 130 KTAS, max 1.5 g, and max altitude of 18,000 ft.

Flight: 01
Date: 21 Dec 08
Flight Time: 1 hr        
WK2 Pilot: Siebold WK2 CoPilot: Nichols WK2 FTE: None

Objectives:
First flight
Qualitative assessment of stability and controls to facilitate a safe landing.

Results:
Objective achieved. Gear down envelope to 110 KTAS. Max altitude 18,000 ft. "Beautiful airplane to fly."

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