Oshkosh 2009 (Pg 12)

 

 

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The pictures on this page are of the "WhiteKnightTwo", which is a prototype for a privately funded commercial space plane venture being run by Scaled Composites in the Mojave desert, a company founded and run by Burt Rutan, who is truly a legendary figure in the world of aviation.  

This unique looking airplane is designed to carry a commercial spacecraft under the wing between the two fuselage structures where the spacecraft will be carried up to high altitude and released to make the flight into space with paying commercial passengers.  The smaller scale WhiteKnightOne carried a smaller space vehicle (SpaceShipOne) to successfully make two flights into space back in 2004, winning the "X-prize" for the first successful privately funded space flight (click here for more on that project).

WhiteKnightTwo was on static display for much of the Airventure 2009 show and the plane conducted flight demonstrations on two of the days we were there, with the second day flight being its departure flight headed back to Mojave, CA but doing a few fly-bys before departing.  The takeoffs were limited to 40% power as the plane was way overpowered carrying no payload, and the takeoffs were made with impressively steep (and quiet) climbouts.

Here are a couple of the airborne shots:

 

 

We never thought to take some pictures at the static display but got a couple close up shots as it taxi'd by for one of the flight demos:

 

 

 

 
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  This page was last updated on 12/18/11.

 

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Copyright 2007.  All rights reserved.  Chris Hand, chris@ckhand.com