MOJAVE, Calif., April 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Stratolaunch LLC, whose mission is to advance high-speed technology through innovative design, manufacturing, and operation of world-class aerospace vehicles, today successfully completed the second flight of the world's largest aircraft by wingspan. The 385 ft. wingspan aircraft flew for 3 hours, 14 minutes over the Mojave Desert and reached an altitude of 14,000 feet (4267.2 m). As part of this latest flight, pilots further prepared the carrier aircraft to support launches of its upcoming hypersonic testbed vehicle, Talon-A. Initial results from today's test points include:
- Confirmation of the aircraft's performance and handling characteristics
- Continued demonstration of the aircraft's capability, including its payload capacity
- Validation of the enhancements added to the Carrier Aircraft, including pressurization, gear doors, and robustness to the safety systems
"Stratolaunch is advancing our nation's ability to be a worldwide leader in the hypersonic market," said Dr. Daniel R. Millman, Chief Technology Officer of Stratolaunch. "Our flight today gets us another step closer to our promise of delivering the world's premier hypersonic flight test service."
Talon-A is a fully reusable, autonomous, liquid rocket-powered Mach 6-class hypersonic vehicle with a length of 28 feet (8.5 m), wingspan of 14 feet (4.3 m), and a launch weight of approximately 6,500 pounds (2,948 kg). The vehicle will provide over 60 seconds of hypersonic flight test conditions and glide back for an autonomous landing on a conventional runway.
The company's hypersonic program, announced last year, has seen significant progress in high-speed vehicle manufacturing, as well as the development of a variant of the Hadley liquid rocket engine, which is being designed by Ursa Major Technologies specifically for the Talon-A testbed vehicle.
Stratolaunch is currently assembling both a Talon-A Separation Test Article, which will be the first Talon-A vehicle carried and released by the carrier aircraft and as well as the first rocket-powered Talon-A vehicle. On display for attendees was a Talon-A upper skin, fabricated from Out-of-Autoclave Bismaleimide (BMI) carbon composite materials and slated to be a component of the second hypersonic vehicle. Also highlighted was a Hadley engine, an oxidizer rich staged combustion engine in the 5,000-lbf thrust class, which is ready to be installed and tested in Stratolaunch's under-construction propulsion test facility.
"We're focused on safely and securely releasing operational hypersonic vehicles from our carrier aircraft," said Dr. Zachary Krevor, chief operating officer of Stratolaunch. "The test flight today provided valuable insights and data to help us continue this journey."
For more information, please visit www.Stratolaunch.com and follow @Stratolaunch on Twitter for the latest updates.
About Stratolaunch LLC
Stratolaunch, LLC designs, manufactures, and launches aerospace vehicles and technologies to fulfill several important national needs, including the need for reliable, routine access to space and the need to significantly advance the nation's ability to design and operate hypersonic vehicles. Stratolaunch is headquartered in Mojave, CA with additional resources in Seattle, WA, Denver CO, Ashburn, VA, and Washington, D.C.