VMS EVE Test Flights!
Virgin Mothership EVE achieves fastest and longest flight
VIRGIN MOTHERSHIP EVE ACHIEVES FASTEST AND LONGEST FLIGHT At 5.30am, on the morning of Wednesday 25th March, the Scaled team met for their pre-flight briefing prior to Mothership Eve’s third test flight.
Anticipation mounted as the team prepared for the flight which was due to be the longest, fastest and highest to date. As the sun rose, the winds were looking good – everything seemed pretty calm outside, even though the winds were forecast to be strengthening later on in the day. Test Pilot Pete Seibold, who also piloted the first two missions, was selected as Eve’s pilot for the flight with Bob Morgan as co-pilot.
The inboard engines were started as the team worked towards take off at around 10.30am. There were two chase planes on site – Stephen Attenborough (VG’s Commercial Director) was a passenger in a Kingair which was piloted by Brian Binnie and a Duchess for the VG’s cameraman and photographer. Eve taxied onto runway and started with a medium speed taxi test…once the medium speed test was complete, the outboard engines started to roll. Seven tests were completed successfully including: in flight engine re-starts; engine thrust asymmetry assessment; continued expansion of the operating envelope; and evaluation of handling qualities.
This successful flight of Eve was its longest, fastest and highest to date with duration of approximately two and half hours, maximum speed of 140 knots and an altitude of approx. 20,000 ft. The flight was another great step forward – the rate of testing is scheduled to accelerate over the coming weeks.
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