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Sir Richard's first flight on VMS Eve

02.11.09

Sir Richard's first flight on VMS Eve

Sir Richard Branson Takes first Flight in VMS Eve at Airventure 2009

Today, at the world’s largest private air show (EAA Airventure 2009, Oshkosh, Wisconsin), Sir Richard Branson took his first flight in the Mothership which will launch Virgin Galactic’s space tourism and science customers into space.

Today, at the world’s largest private air show (EAA Airventure 2009, Oshkosh, Wisconsin), Sir Richard Branson took his first flight in the Mothership which will launch Virgin Galactic’s space tourism and science customers into space.

The space launch vehicle known as VMS Eve is a unique twin hull all carbon composite aviation vehicle designed to launch SpaceShipTwo above heights of 50,000ft and today Sir Richard was on board to witness first hand the incredible flying qualities of the aircraft piloted by Pete Siebold and Clint Nichols.

VMS Eve has already undertaken 16 test flights and today’s demonstration flight at Oshkosh represents flight 17. The vehicle has already logged 50 hours of flying time and achieved an altitude of 52,400ft. It has the capacity to carry six trainee astronauts in its starboard hull and give each of them a full range of G force experiences including a zero G flying capability. Its port hull is pressurized and has the capability of carrying science instruments and other experimental payload.

It is expected that VMS Eve will make its first “captive carry” flight with SpaceShipTwo attached by the end of 2009.

After the flight Sir Richard Branson commented: “This has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. It’s a beautiful aircraft to fly and its incredibly light carbon construction and efficient design points the way to a much brighter future for commercial aviation as well as the industrial revolution in space which I believe our entire space launch system heralds.”

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