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Stratolaunch Conducts Second Test Flight of Carrier Aircraft

Stratolaunch carrier aircraft
Stratolaunch, carrier aircraft

Stratolaunch performed on Thursday the second flight test of its carrier aircraft that the company plans to use to support launches of its Talon-A hypersonic testbed vehicle.

The plane, which has a wingspan of 375 feet, reached an altitude of 14,000 feet during the test flight over the Mojave Desert in California that lasted for 3 hours and 14 minutes, Stratolaunch said Thursday.

Talon-A is a liquid rocket-powered, autonomous hypersonic vehicle that has a launch weight of about 6,500 pounds. The reusable vehicle is designed to fly at a speed of Mach 6 and will provide over a minute of hypersonic test flight conditions.

"We're focused on safely and securely releasing operational hypersonic vehicles from our carrier aircraft," said Zachary Krevor, chief operating officer of Stratolaunch. "The test flight today provided valuable insights and data to help us continue this journey.”

Pilots demonstrated the carrier aircraft’s payload capacity, safety systems, pressurization, gear doors and other enhancements during the test flight.

The company conducted the inaugural test flight of the plane in April 2019.

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