Finally Virgin Galactic resumed campaign of glide flights of their VSS Unity spaceplane, but those who count on first engine flight in February probably will have to wait until end of this year.
It took two months to Virgin Galactic to perform another glide flight of their VSS Unity. Last time we could look at Unity in flight on December 22, 2016 with pilots Nicola Pecile and Rick ‘CJ’ Struckow and flight engineer Dustin Mosher.
This time flight took place on February 24, 2017. WhiteKnightTwo carrier known also as VMS Eve, started from Mojave Air and Space Port in California at around 17:15 UTC. Inside Vss Unity attached to WhiteKnightTwo were chief test pilot Dave Mackay and CJ Sturckow. After 55 minutes VMS Eve was already on correct altitude and released VSS Unity to its seventh flight at 18:11 UTC. Virgin Galactic has not published any details and flight parameters, but after smooth landing performed at Mojave airfield we can assume, that everything went according to schedule. VSS Unity landed at 10:20 UTC. Punctually 25 minutes later on this same airfield landed VMS Eve carrier plane.
It is third flight after accident from 2014. Virgin Galactic resumed flights in the end of 2016 and still targets with first engined flight for the second half of 2017.