On February 24, 2022, Stratolaunch’s “Roc” carrier aircraft took flight and passed its fourth flight test. Known as the largest aircraft in the world, Roc has a wingspan of 117 meters and is powered by six Boeing 747 engines.
During this Thursday flight, the plane flew over the Mojave Desert for 1 hour and 43 minutes and reached an altitude of 4,572 meters. Compared to its last test flight in January, Stratolaunch’s carrier aircraft spent less time in the air and reached a lower altitude. The result stood as such because the emphasis for the test flight was not on speed, endurance, or cruising altitude.
The purpose of this test was to further evaluate the aircraft’s performance and handling characteristics. Additionally, this involved validating complete landing gear operations, including door functionality and reciprocating gear extension.
Stratolaunch President and COO Dr. Zachary Krevor said “the successful flight demonstrates and validates the improvements made to the carrier aircraft systems and overall flight performance.”
The results of Roc’s fourth flight test proved the aircraft was closer to operational status – a necessary step to support launches of the upcoming Talon-A hypersonic test bed vehicle. The Stratolaunch team continues to make great progress on the systems integrations of two Talon-A test vehicles and has begun building a third. A more focused hypersonic flight test is planned for later this year.
Talon-A vehicles are reusable test beds designed for experiments, hypersonic research and operational missions. Highly instrumented vehicles can fly at speeds above Mach 5 and can carry data with various payloads. This will allow routine access to the hypersonic flight environment, which is crucial for scientific research, component demonstration and technology development.
The American aerospace company plans to provide services to government and commercial customers as early as 2023.
Stratolaunch’s mission is to advance technology at high speed through the innovative design, manufacture and operation of world-class aerospace vehicles.
In other automotive news, Morgan Motor Company unveiled the new Super 3 on February 24 as well. With current automotive standards in play and various customizable features available, the three-wheeler is Morgan’s sleek new adventure creation.
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