Sunday, June 15, 2008

More Rocket Racer Milestones

A week ago this past Friday, XCOR's Rocket Racer prototype set a couple of new milestones, as the vehicle's flight test program continues. Since it had flown the day before, June 4th, the Friday flight represented the first time the rocket plane had flown on subsequent days. But that wasn't good enough for these rocket scientists, their goal was quicker turn-around, two flights in the same day (fast turn-arounds will be necessary for the active race world).

Through the ever-present Mojave Desert heat distortion, the Rocket Racer can be seen waiting its turn on Runway 30 as a National Test Pilot School Saab SK-35 Draken lands.

In addition, because the Rocket Racers will have to perform aerobatics in between the course pylons, the two June 5th flights included some gentle aerobatic work, including an Immelmann and inverted flight.

After the first flight of the day, once the Rocket Racer rolled to a stop on Taxiway Charlie, excess LOX had to be purged, resulting in a dramatic photo and a distict improvement in Mojave's air quality!

From what I understand, XCOR's flight test program will now be standing down for a few weeks as improvements are incorporated into the vehicle...but stay tuned...this will only get more exciting as the full envelope of the Racer is explored!

1 comment:

Jenny S-T said...

Nice photos! Thanks for posting.