Sunday, August 17, 2008

How to Tow a WhiteKnightTwo

When unveiling WhiteKnightTwo, both Burt Rutan and Sir Richard Branson hailed its "open architecture" - the big empty space in the middle - which makes it multiple-mission role possible. But it also makes the plane, well, ungainly. The chore of ground handling such an unusually shaped plane is a challenge. WK2's designers elected to use a rather large aluminum A-frame towbar hooked to the main landing gear, with steering provided by two nose walkers (would their job titles be "guidance counselors"?). Virgin Galactic has released several media images, taken the evening before the big rollout, which show just how this is done. Also included by VG is a great photo (left) of Burt and Sir Richard taking a walk around the finished product.

Source: VG Press Page

(Fine print note: These are media release images, and VG presumably retains copyright, so the Creative Commons provisions don't apply to these.)

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