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WhiteKnightTwo gear incident termed ‘minor’

WhiteKnightTwo Photo by Alan Radecki, MojaveWest.

Scaled Composites said in a statement Aug. 19 that the “mechanical problem” with the left gear on that date was a “minor incident.” WhiteKnightTwo was on its thirty-seventh test flight and has flown since December 2008.

The aircraft, a carrier for a commercial suborbital air-launched rocket called SpaceShipTwo, was seen in an Aviation Week photo leaning heavily to its left after landing. The spaceship was not aboard. The eight-passenger commercial rocket was carried aboard WhiteKnightTwo on a previous test flight.

A report by Aviation Week said the incident could delay the test program, and that testing was rapidly building toward a free glide test of the spaceship. The spaceship had previously done taxi tests to test brakes, the Aviation Week report indicates. No date was given for a possible glide test.

Alton Marsh
Alton K. Marsh
Freelance journalist
Alton K. Marsh is a former senior editor of AOPA Pilot and is now a freelance journalist specializing in aviation topics.

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