Virgin Galactic recently revealed its plans to expand the operational fleet of flights. The announcement comes on Dec. 3 during the final stages of the transaction while purchasing a Boeing 747 jetliner. The Company confirms that the new aircraft comes as an extra aircraft carrier for the soon to be launched LauncherOne
The Company has plans to use the airplane to increase LauncherOne spacecraft payloads to carry larger load capacities. The news came during the launch of Virgin Galactic’s reveal of its WhiteKnightTwo aircraft. The aircraft unveiling comes during Galactic’s event in San Antonio at the Company’s repair facility.
Oddly, enough the mission resolved with the airliner Virgin Atlantic, a separate business from Virgin. The airplane’s designated name is the Cosmic Girl. This name was confirmed by White-sides when it alluded to the nickname of the aircraft a while ago. Whiteside’s recounts that the new spacecraft seems smaller compared to previous operational shuttles. However, there are enough results that show the Company is happy to operate the Virgin Atlantic aircraft. Whiteside’s confirmed that Virgin Galactic bought a Virgin Atlantic aircraft. However, there was no reveal of the terms of the deal.
Boeing constructed Cosmic Girl in 2001 and had it shipped to Virgin Atlantic. According to electronic flight logs, the airliner handled the Company’s commercial operations since then up to October last year. However, last October saw the aircraft’s last flight as it flew to San Antonio from London.
Concerning the research on LauncherOne itself, Virgin Galactic must render these improvements to the 747. “Every subsystem is making progress,” he said, which includes the Company’s Newton 3 engines and Newton 4 engines to power the rocket and composite propellant tanks.
Virgin Galactic reported that it expects to start LauncherOne test flights early into the year. However, the report did not go as planned at the end of 2016, and the Company reported a delayed schedule. “In 2017, we are scheduled to conduct orbital studies,” he added.
Whiteside’s said that the aircraft would be thoroughly checked and repaired by VT San Antonio Aerospace. VT San Antonio Aerospace is an aircraft repair operation renowned for its “D power. Whiteside’s further states that the Company plans to commence the task early next year, whereby the preferred modification on the LauncherOne launch begins.
Virgin’s plans include connecting LauncherOne across the fuselage, and the left inboard engine to a pylon mounted on the left-wing of the Boeing 747. Engineers working on mounting the two crafts expect to fit the 747 to a fifth jet motor while ferrying engines. This method works by reducing the requisite structural modifications to the wing. As modifications soon commence, Virgin hopes that everything proceeds as planned.