US-based company Stratolaunch’s Roc aircraft has successfully concluded the first captive carry flight demonstration with Talon-A (TA-0) separation test vehicle.
The flight test was conducted on 28 October from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, US. This also marked Roc aircraft’s eighth flight test.
During the maiden demonstration, a Roc aircraft’s centre wing pylon was fitted with TA-0. The aircraft took off and reached a 23,000ft altitude and flew over the Mojave Desert.
The main objective of this flight demonstration was to measure the aerodynamic loads created on the Talon-A test vehicle while it was integrated with the Roc aircraft.
The company said that the entire test lasted for a total of five hours and six minutes.
With the help of aerodynamic predictions, the company will be able to ensure whether the release mechanism will work as desired or not.
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In the next steps, Stratolaunch will continue to conduct a series of captive carry flight tests over the coming months that will end with a TA-0 separation test over the Pacific Ocean later this year.
Stratolaunch CEO and president Dr Zachary Krevor said: “We have conducted a variety of ground tests in anticipation of this first captive carry flight, and with each successful test milestone achieved we have built confidence that hardware will perform exactly as it was designed.”
Simultaneously, the company is continuously moving ahead with the system evaluation of its first hypersonic flight test vehicle, TA-1 as well as with the fabrication of the first and second fully reusable TA-2 and TA-3 hypersonic vehicles.
Delivery of hypersonic flight services for government and commercial customers is expected to start next year.
In June this year, Stratolaunch performed the sixth and seventh flight tests of its Roc carrier aircraft.