NASASpaceflight.com reports that a test flight of the Dream Chaser min-shuttle went awry earlier today at Edwards Air Force Base in California:
Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser ETA (Engineering Test Article) conducted her maiden flight at the Dryden Flight Research Center on Saturday. However, the Commercial Crew prospect – after enjoying a perfect flight in the air – suffered a mechanical failure during landing, resulting in her flipping over on the runway….
During the test on Saturday, all systems performed admirably during the free flight.
However, via what is being classed as a mechanical failure of the left landing gear (failure to deploy), the ETA lost control when “weight on wheels”, and flipped over on the runway.
Notably, the main landing gear on the ETA is not the same as what set to be employed on future Dream Chasers.
The vehicle was dropped from a helicopter. There’s no word on how much damage the Dream Chaser ETA suffered.