First Test Flight of Virgin Galactic’s VSS Enterprise
May 19, 2011
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YouTube – SS2_FIRST FEATHER FLIGHT_VNR_FINAL_1080rev.mov.
Hat tip to my Facebook and co-gamer Doc Strange for posting this video to Facebook. Very cool initial test flight of the “feather” technique/process to be used by Virgin Galactic‘s space flight vehicle “VSS Enterprise” on reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. I need to research that a bit more before I can even begin to understand it.
Couple of amazing points about this video and the vehicles:
- The initial airplane + reentry vehicle combination (turns out it’s the VMS Eve and VSS Enterprise). I am surprised that it has enough structural rigidity and strength so that just the VMS Eve along requires landing gear? The VSS Enterprise, slung between the two VMS Eve fuselages, is attached to the cross wing, and that’s it!
- Tracking video – how on earth did they maintain the tight tracking to keep the vehicle in frame like that. Was video shot from the ground, or more likely (now that I think about it) from the chase plane that shadowed the entire flight. Still, the VSS Enterprise video is amazingly solid and well-kept in frame.
Does the VMS Eve + VSS Entprise remind anyone else of an old P-38 Lightning
on steroids? And jets?