Speedbrake actuator forces WhiteKnight Two down

by | Jun 20, 2009 | Seradata News | 0 comments

Scaled posted a report on 19 June about its prototype WhiteKnight Two’s (WK2) tenth flight on that day and why it diverted to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport

En route testing above 40,000 feet was uneventful. During the descent toward the Spaceport America groundbreaking we experienced a failure of a speedbrake actuator. Based on facilities available and logistics for our ground crew, the pilots elected to make a precautionary landing at Williams Gateway airport near Phoenix. Our ground crew is on site and we hope to return to Mojave either this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

We now know that WK2 is still at Phoenix and likely to fly out today, 20 June, Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn sent this email to Hyperbola at about 1830h New Mexico local time on 19 June: “Now WK2 overflying Las Cruces and spaceport site at 9.30 tomorrow [20 June] morning NM time [1530h GMT].”

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