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SpaceShipOne flight eight test results

I’ve finally got my hands on the Scaled Composites flight test report from Dec 17th, 2003:

Objectives: The eighth flight of SpaceShipOne and first powered flight. 15 second burn of the rocket motor and supersonic flight. Motor light off at altitude and inflight engine performance. Vehicle handling qualities through transonics and feather performance from altitude.

Results: Launch conditions were 47,900 feet and 112 knots. Motor light off was achieved at 44,400 feet and 0.55M. Burnout occurred at 1.2M and apogee was 67,800 feet. There was no noted flight control flutter or buzz during the climb. Feather recovery exhibited a +/-30 roll initially and then settled down into the familiar falling bathtub mode. The wing was de-feathered and locked by 35,000 feet. A nominal landing pattern was flown but touchdown caused the left main gear to collapse and the vehicle rolled to a stop off the runway in the soft sand. Although the damage was not major, repairs are expected to take approximately three weeks to complete.

Now hands up for everyone who believes NASA could return an unmanned children’s kite to flight in three weeks after a gear collapse…

4 comments to SpaceShipOne flight eight test results

  • Inspire 28

    One of my proudest memories was having been a V.I.P., or Voyager Important Person, a backer of Voyager. See what free men can do!

  • Tony

    This is great news!. SpaceShipOne looks the part as well.

    This century is going to be very … interesting.

    Merry Christmas!

  • Dale Amon

    I’d also like to point out that SpaceShipOne may also be preparing to take the altitude and speed records off the X15. There has been no challenge to those top aviation records in over thirty years.

    I have not heard anyone suggest or mention this. But if they go suborbital they almost certainly will be placed to take the altitude record at the very least.

  • Julian Morrison

    Now that’s more like an xmas story. Less of the grinching and groaning, more of the inspirationalness!