Virgin Galactic test pilots have developed new procedures that significantly improve takeoff and balanced field length performance of the fully laden WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft. The new capability, which in some cases reduces takeoff distance by 40% or more, will give Virgin greater operational flexibility when launching heavy payloads such as the SpaceShipTwo (SS2) suborbital space vehicle for which the WK2 was originally developed. In particular, performance will be improved ...


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