March 18, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
PS Engineering will provide the intercoms and audio control panels to be used on Scaled Composite’s 60-foot-long rocketship, SpaceShipTwo (now dubbed VSS Enterprise), and its carrier, Virgin Mothership Eve (VMSEve), for commercial flights to space. SpaceShipTwo carries six passengers and two pilots on a ballistic trajectory 65 miles high.
VMSEve carries the craft, powered by a hybrid engine that combines a liquid oxidizer with solid fuel, to 50,000 feet for launch. Both are built by Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites. Virgin Galactic was founded by Sir Richard Branson.
The intercom system allows communication within the two aircraft and between the two aircraft prior to launching the rocket. PS Engineering founder and President Mark Scheuer said his equipment was also aboard SpaceShipOne and White Knight that flew in 2004. He has worked with both Mike Melville and Dick Rutan since the early 1990s on new aircraft and record-setting around-the-world flights.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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