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White Knight 2 First Flight Soon....  
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3526 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 7607 times:
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SpaceShip 2 to roll out in April...

This will be an interesting test & development program to watch.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...shiptwo-roll-out-dates-tipped.html


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24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1866 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7507 times:

If they take off Dec 15 and the engines explode, the wings fall off, and the autopilot turns evil and tries to crash into a schoolyard, Burt will fix it and have it back in the air in two weeks. The difference between him and NASA.
I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that lunatic already has a stack of cocktail napkins with WK3 and probably WK4 designs sitting in his desk.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3526 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days ago) and read 7106 times:
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White Knight 2 flew for the first time this morning....

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/081221-whiteknighttwo-test.html



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User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 977 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7074 times:



Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 1):
If they take off Dec 15 and the engines explode, the wings fall off, and the autopilot turns evil and tries to crash into a schoolyard, Burt will fix it and have it back in the air in two weeks. The difference between him and NASA.

If Burt could work at that pace, then one wonders why it took 4 years and 3 deaths to get the first WK2/SS2 near completion. Rutan is no doubt talented, but not unlike Steve Jobs, a great deal of his success lies in making a little look like a lot. The difference is Rutan faces different accountability standards and expectations.

NASA and S.C. also do two completely different types of spaceflight, one vastly more complicated than the other.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3526 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7057 times:
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First flight article & video from FlightGlobal:

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...aceshiptwos-mothership-maiden.html



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User currently offlineNomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1866 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7020 times:



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 3):
NASA and S.C. also do two completely different types of spaceflight, one vastly more complicated than the other.

That's mainly because one always looks for the most complicated possible method of getting a job done and one always looks for the simplest method. Burt, like Kelly Johnson before him is a rare combination of genius without sacrificing common sense.

It didn't take 3 deaths to get WK2 going. It took skill and courage and determination, despite the accident.
Exactly how much would NASA be able to accomplish with the same amount of money and time? Give Rutan the money the STS takes in one year and we'll all be vacationing on the moon within a decade.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 977 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6984 times:



Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 5):

That's mainly because one always looks for the most complicated possible method of getting a job done and one always looks for the simplest method.

That is a complete generalization. NASA performs orbital spaceflight and conducts long-duration operations once they get there. Peeking across the edge of space on a suborbital parabola isn't in the ballpark of that. It's not even the same sport. As SpaceX is finding, it's easy to talk a big game, but to reach the industry standards for reliability and safety is tremendous challenge.

Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 5):
It didn't take 3 deaths to get WK2 going.

WK2 isn't much without SS2, so you are selectively quoting.

Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 5):
Exactly how much would NASA be able to accomplish with the same amount of money and time? Give Rutan the money the STS takes in one year and we'll all be vacationing on the moon within a decade.

NASA has done countless projects in the price range of Tier One. They do more than fly the Space Shuttle. Many of them have been remarkably successful while also pioneering something new, whereas Tier One replicated a capability NASA (of all people) demonstrated 40 years ago. Again, it's making a little look like a lot. Rutan as Steve Jobs, you as the AppleFanBoy.


User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6870 times:



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 3):

Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 1):
If they take off Dec 15 and the engines explode, the wings fall off, and the autopilot turns evil and tries to crash into a schoolyard, Burt will fix it and have it back in the air in two weeks. The difference between him and NASA.

If Burt could work at that pace, then one wonders why it took 4 years and 3 deaths to get the first WK2/SS2 near completion. Rutan is no doubt talented, but not unlike Steve Jobs, a great deal of his success lies in making a little look like a lot. The difference is Rutan faces different accountability standards and expectations.

NASA and S.C. also do two completely different types of spaceflight, one vastly more complicated than the other.

Rutan makes nice things for aerosexuals, but none of his designs has made any money from anyone else so far, hope the WK2 and SS2 is different.


User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8507 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6748 times:



Quoting Alessandro (Reply 7):
Rutan makes nice things for aerosexuals, but none of his designs has made any money from anyone else so far, hope the WK2 and SS2 is different.

Most of his designs have been one-off, either prototypes (Starship proof of concept aircraft) or record breakers (like Voyager) or just for fun and the learning (like the Boomerang). He's had a mixed record as far as production goes.

Rutan Aircraft Factory was profitable during the 70s and 80s selling plans and parts for his various designs. That's as close to a production company as he's ever gotten, far as I can tell. Other than the Starship incident--now that was a true commercial failure (although it wasn't entirely his firm's fault).

I think he'll go down in history as the most innovative aircraft designer of his time.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 6):


NASA has done countless projects in the price range of Tier One. They do more than fly the Space Shuttle. Many of them have been remarkably successful while also pioneering something new, whereas Tier One replicated a capability NASA (of all people) demonstrated 40 years ago.

And yet doing it without taxpayer money and for far, far cheaper than NASA does anything involving humans is a tremendous achievement.


User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8507 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6739 times:

Here's an interesting bit of speculation:

Did Virgin Galactic do a Boeing 787 with the WhiteKnightTwo?

Also amusing: Flightglobal's polls

Ending December 19, 1611 people voted on which would fly first

69% - a Virgin Galactic space tourist
31% - a Virgin Atlantic 787

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 6):
As SpaceX is finding, it's easy to talk a big game, but to reach the industry standards for reliability and safety is tremendous challenge.

According to Rutan he's exceeded NASA's disastrous safety standards for the Shuttle by virtue of having a foolproof reentry method.


User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6735 times:

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 8):
Most of his designs have been one-off, either prototypes (Starship proof of concept aircraft) or record breakers (like Voyager) or just for fun and the learning (like the Boomerang). He's had a mixed record as far as production goes.

Rutan Aircraft Factory was profitable during the 70s and 80s selling plans and parts for his various designs. That's as close to a production company as he's ever gotten, far as I can tell. Other than the Starship incident--now that was a true commercial failure (although it wasn't entirely his firm's fault).

I think he'll go down in history as the most innovative aircraft designer of his time

Well, you misunderstood me, that´s for himself, I said others, like the starship or AdamAircraft.
Innovative yes, best designs from entrepeneurs to use? I doubt it.
Not that I´m worried if Sir Richard Branson eats lobster or hot dogs for lunch... Wink

[Edited 2008-12-23 10:00:58]

User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10899 posts, RR: 37
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6717 times:

I know someone who has already got his seat on the first flight to the edge of Space with the Rutan machine. I hope they will be successful. I wonder how many test flights they will do with the machine before they take the first paying passengers.

I want to go on the Airbus EADS machine when they will fly. I think I can trust them.
I look forward to the next Paris Air Show to get more information on the project. I am sure their technology will be high up there.



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3526 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 6697 times:
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Quoting MD-90 (Reply 9):
According to Rutan he's exceeded NASA's disastrous safety standards for the Shuttle by virtue of having a foolproof reentry method.

Except that you can't compare Rutans vehicle with the shuttle.... SS2 is ballistic (meaning much much less energy involved) & shuttle is orbital...



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User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 977 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 6647 times:

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 9):
According to Rutan he's exceeded NASA's disastrous safety standards for the Shuttle by virtue of having a foolproof reentry method.

1. For a disastrous vehicle, it has proven to have essentially the same reliability and safety as the only other vehicle with a statistically-relevant flight history; the Russian Soyuz. Both are within a few tenths of a percent of each other in the ballpark of a 98% success rate.

2. Both incidents that led to the loss of a Shuttle & crew were preventable had management flown the vehicles properly. They were technical disasters that resulted from cultural problems. Rutan's culture is capable of making mistakes, too.

3. Like ZANL said, Rutan's SS2 won't even be performing the same type of spaceflight as NASA. Statistical comparisons are irrelevant. Even if SS2 has the same frequency of major incident (2% of flights, which wouldn't be bad IMO) as the Shuttle, it is operating in a more forgiving envelope than an orbital vehicle like the Shuttle.

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 8):
And yet doing it without taxpayer money and for far, far cheaper than NASA does anything involving humans is a tremendous achievement.

Again, NASA does other stuff than fly the Shuttle and many of those things involve both people and price tags less than $30 million dollars. For example: Is the goal of space exploration advanced more by NASA spending $30 million dollars of taxpayer money on something unsexy like spacesuit design or urine reprocessing or Rutan spending $30 million of Paul Allen's money to re-create a capability NASA demonstrated 40 years ago? There's more to spaceflight than strapping people to rocket planes.

Developing suborbital spacecraft isn't exploration, there's no reason for NASA to be involved.

[Edited 2008-12-23 21:35:05]

User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 6517 times:



Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 11):
I know someone who has already got his seat on the first flight to the edge of Space with the Rutan machine. I hope they will be successful. I wonder how many test flights they will do with the machine before they take the first paying passengers.

I want to go on the Airbus EADS machine when they will fly. I think I can trust them.
I look forward to the next Paris Air Show to get more information on the project. I am sure their technology will be high up there.

I´ve seen the tally of 50 testflights before commercial flying. Since they are taking paying customers they can´t certifiy it as experimental.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3526 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6101 times:
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It appears WK2 may have had some yaw stabilty issues prior to first flight...

"Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo may need to have its rudder and yaw stability improved to counter issues such as the greater fishtail effect that would be expected with a twin fuselage aircraft.

Flight International has learned that WK2 prime contractor Scaled Composites' test pilot Peter Siebold was finding it hard to keep the aircraft on the runway during the 20 December high-speed taxi trials preceding its maiden flight the following day. This could be due to inadequate yaw damping."


http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...thership-faces-rudder-problem.html



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User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6012 times:

So how different are the tail of the Globalflyer and WK2?
Any parts that are used on both aircrafts in the tail?


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3526 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 5878 times:
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Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 15):
It appears WK2 may have had some yaw stabilty issues prior to first flight...

SRB responds:

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic company has denied claims that the one of the craft in its space tourism project is suffering difficulties with its rudder.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sciencean...ms-with-space-tourism-project.html



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User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5745 times:

Sir RB would never acknowledge there´s a problem unless there´s an obvious accident.
Pilot of the maiden flight was Peter Siebold (4 missions with the White Knight One which
dropped off Space Ship One into space) and co pilot was Clint Nicols.
http://www.scaled.com/news/wk2_21_12_08.pdf


User currently offlineDw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1260 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5735 times:



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 13):
3. Like ZANL said, Rutan's SS2 won't even be performing the same type of spaceflight as NASA. Statistical comparisons are irrelevant. Even if SS2 has the same frequency of major incident (2% of flights, which wouldn't be bad IMO) as the Shuttle, it is operating in a more forgiving envelope than an orbital vehicle like the Shuttle.

This never ceases to amaze me. As much as I respect Rutan, and feel that he is one of the most innovative as talented engineers of all time, it is painful to hear him describe how much safer his program is than the space shuttle. Comparing the missions of Space Ship 1 and 2 with the shuttle is like arguing that Boeing is better then Lockheed because the 777 has a better record than the SR-71. His "foolproof" reentry system is great for the mission he's going after, but not sufficient to handle the heat and stresses imposed by a return from orbital flight.

On top of that, how many SS1 missions have been flown? To the best of my knowledge, not enough to establish any viable statistics.

I think Rutan is headed down the right path and will help make great strides in opening up space, but constantly attacking NASA reeks of arrogance and tarnishes his image. He's good enough that he doesn't need to make dumb comparisons.



CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5720 times:

Dw, 6th powered flights for SS1, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaled_Composites_SpaceShipOne

User currently offlineNomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1866 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5657 times:

Was just putting some Pegasus numbers together and noticed that the smaller model (37,000 pounds) is pretty close to the SS2 payload capacity. (35,000 pounds)
I'm not sure what the pylon and support gear would add, but the SS2 would have to be a lot cheaper than using a Tristar.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineSLCPilot From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 587 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5451 times:



Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 21):
Was just putting some Pegasus numbers together and noticed that the smaller model (37,000 pounds) is pretty close to the SS2 payload capacity. (35,000 pounds)
I'm not sure what the pylon and support gear would add, but the SS2 would have to be a lot cheaper than using a Tristar.

I assume you mean White Knight II. I have also wondered about this comparison. Consider the design cost/time. You could probably buy a Tristar with enough time left in it to do what you need for a song. Emptied of most of it's interior fittings and it would lighten up considerably and the high altitude performance would increase. I wonder if there are people familiar with the aircraft in the Mojave/Palmdale area?

Burt Rutan has decided how to launch his vehicle, and it's their penny, so they can do what they want!

As far as safety, it's not too hard to imagine bad things. If the SS2 cannot reconfigure, is there any hope for it on "re-entry"? Also, the uncontrolled rolls on one of the powered climb-outs of SS1 were not very encouraging.

Cheers!

SLCPilot



I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
User currently offlineNomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1866 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5408 times:



Quoting SLCPilot (Reply 22):
As far as safety, it's not too hard to imagine bad things. If the SS2 cannot reconfigure, is there any hope for it on "re-entry"? Also, the uncontrolled rolls on one of the powered climb-outs of SS1 were not very encouraging.

The rolls were sort of pilot error. He went perfectly vertical only to discover that you lose all lift on the wing when you do that and the control surfaces don't work anymore. He could have, and eventually did bring it out with the control thrusters. They just need to stay a few degrees off vertical, and everything is OK.
With SS1 Burt stated that if the tail failed to swing up they still expected to survive re-entry, but with some heat damage. It's an extremely simple mechanism, Rutan style, so hopefully they'll never find out.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 5203 times:

Probably cost related, an Tristar is more expensive to run than the WK2, they´re not getting any younger either and if I recall right RR has stopped making engines for them?

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