Stratolaunch Talon-A Hypersonic Vehicle Completes Critical Design Review

Talon A hypersonic test bed. (Credit: Stratolaunch)
  • Talon-A airframe nears completion and begins systems installation
  • Roc carrier aircraft to complete additional flights this year
  • Hypersonic flights on track to test next year

MOJAVE, Calif., September 27, 2021 (Stratolaunch PR) – Stratolaunch is pleased to announce an important milestone for its Talon-A hypersonic test vehicles. The company successfully completed its Critical Design Review (“CDR”), a multidisciplinary technical review that ensure systems meet specified performance requirements.

This achievement is in line with Stratolaunch’s timeline to begin hypersonic flight testing in 2022 and deliver services to government and commercial customers by 2023. Launched from
Stratolaunch’s Roc carrier aircraft, the Talon-A vehicles are rocket-propelled, autonomous,
reusable testbeds carrying customizable payloads at speeds above Mach 5. This capability
enables routine access to the hypersonic flight environment, which is critical for scientific
research, technological development, and component demonstration.

“The progress we’ve made is phenomenal,” said Brandon Wood, Hypersonics Program Director.
“We have a world-class engineering team, and this successful CDR is a demonstration of their
talent. Our Talon-A design and revolutionary launch capability can transform the hypersonic field and make testing dramatically more accessible and effective.”

In parallel with the technical review, Stratolaunch has implemented a rapid-prototyping approach for its Talon-A vehicles. The initial airframe assembly process has been completed and the subsystems installation has begun in anticipation of functional testing in early 2022.

A key differentiator for Stratolaunch’s approach is its mobile, multi-vehicle carrier aircraft, the
Roc. The world’s largest plane is a revolutionary launch platform for hypersonic vehicles and
critical to eliminating technical and logistical barriers that prevent routine hypersonic testing.
Stratolaunch has successfully completed two test flights and plans on completing additional flight tests in the coming months. Following the test flights, the Company will focus on pylon installation for the Talon-A vehicles, while continuing to expand the flight envelope of the Roc carrier aircraft.

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