SpaceShipTwo Flight Featured Nitrous Venting and Vehicle Feathering

SS2B
WhiteKnightTwo/SpaceShipTwo Test Flight Summary

Via Scaled Composites

Flights113/GF24
Date03 Apr 13
SS2 Flight Time:9 minutes
WK2 Flight Time:1.7 hours
SS2 Pilot:StuckySS2 CoPilot:Nichols 
WK2 Pilot:MackayWK2 CoPilot:AlsburyWK2 FTE:Dugué
GS CrewTighe, Bourgeois, Glaser, Knupp, Bassett, Jaster, Bozarth, Verderame, Keller, Cassebeer, Zeeb, Gould, Colby, Withrow, Kroese

SS2 Objectives:
In flight nitrous vent test (on pylon)
Feather flight

Results:
Objectives complete.

WK2 Objectives:
SS2 release mission

Results:
Objective complete.

Editor’s Note:  So they did a vent of the nitrous tank during the flight, which is a fairly significant step toward powered flights. But, it was done on the pylon, which is interesting.

Nitrous venting from SpaceShipTwo prior to a glide flight on April 3, 2013. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)
Nitrous venting from SpaceShipTwo prior to a glide flight on April 3, 2013. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

When the first SpaceShipTwo drop test with the engine configuration installed was conducted in December, there was a pipe that extending out through the rocket nozzle. That puzzled a lot of people in Mojave; the best guess is that it was for venting the nitrous tank.

A rocket nozzle with a round pipe in the middle of it is shown in this image of SpaceShipTwo after it completed an unpowered glide flight on Dec. 19, 2012. (Credit: Bill Deaver)
A rocket nozzle with a round pipe in the middle of it is shown in this image of SpaceShipTwo after it completed an unpowered glide flight on Dec. 19, 2012. (Credit: Bill Deaver)