In its first free flying glide test, the Dream Chaser engineering test vehicle had a perfect flight and approach to landing but flipped over on the runway when its left land gear failed to deploy.


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In its first free flying glide test, the Dream Chaser engineering test vehicle had a perfect flight and approach to landing but flipped over on the runway when its left land gear failed to deploy.

I haven’t yet found any post landing images, nor any information about damage to the test vehicle. This is the kind of tragic failure that sometimes kills a project. The vehicle, operating unmanned, performed quite well actually, flying freely and gliding to the runway as planned. The failure of the one landing gear to deploy is a relatively easy engineering fix. However, the failure could cost a fortune, money the company might not have, if it requires the construction of an entire new test vehicle.

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4 comments

  • mpthompson

    This is a damn shame. I recall the early SpaceX failures and I hope Sierra Nevada can be as resilliant.

  • Steve C

    Echo’s of the DC-X.

  • ken anthony

    mpthompson, agree.

    Steve, they both had landing gear problems, but… before NASA involvement DC-X did something special. We need more of that. I’d like to see SNC succeed even though it’s not the path forward that others are on.

  • Pzatchok

    Flightcom: Get your pitch to zero.
    Austin: “Pitch is out, I can’t hold altitude. I’ve got a blowout, damper three, engine’s gone I can’t hold altitude…Flight Comm I can’t hold her, she’s breaking up, she’s breaking up!”

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