Virgin Galactic’s Unity makes second powered flight


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Capitalism in space: Virgin Galactic’s Unity suborbital spaceship made its second powered flight yesterday, reaching Mach 1.9 and firing its engine for about 30 seconds.

The official company video of the flight is below the fold.


Share

5 comments

  • Col Beausabre

    So, they’ve gotten to where the Bell X-2 was in the mid Fifties (and, to be fair, credit to Boeing for the B-50 carrier aircraft)

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Bell+X-2+for+FSX&&view=detail&mid=6CA44ABAF027800F52BC6CA44ABAF027800F52BC&&FORM=VDRVRV

    To use an expression from my dad’s home state, “Richard Branson, more hat than cattle”)

  • Edward

    Col Beausabre wrote: “Richard Branson, more hat than cattle

    Hopefully Branson’s herd will grow larger than his hat.

  • pzatchok

    Watch the craft under power/

    It does not look stable. It was wiggling all over the place.

  • wodun

    So, they’ve gotten to where the Bell X-2 was in the mid Fifties (and, to be fair, credit to Boeing for the B-50 carrier aircraft)

    But are they doing it now?

    I understand what you are getting at but just because something was done in the past doesn’t mean doing it now is no big deal.

    For example: what about when we land on the Moon again? Sure we did it in the past but we haven’t in decades and the technology that will allow us to do so now, will be far more advanced that what we used before.

  • Edward

    I suspect that Col Beausabre understands that this is a developmental test that is a step in the direction of what SpaceShipOne already has done. They are checking out SpaceShipTwo’s performance and are working their way to a full mission profile. The wiggle that pzatchok noticed could be part of the test plan (testing out control), or it could be an unexpected performance issue. SpaceShipOne had a worse case of unexpected spinning roll on one of its flights.

    Second flight to space, first of two X-Prize flights:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXNkUNP75-Q (10 minutes, unexpected roll begins at 1 minute into powered flight)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *