The Debut of WhiteKnightTwo

    WhiteKnightTwo, born from the creative mind of visionary aerospace designer Burt Rutan and funded by the deep pockets of Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson, will fly in public for the first time this summer at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The unique jet-powered aircraft, with two fuselages hanging beneath one sweeping 140-foot-long wing, is the largest all-composite aircraft ever built. Incredibly strong and fuel-efficient, its purpose is to carry SpaceShipTwo aloft to about 50,000 feet, where the ship will drop free and light its rocket motor to carry tourists onward to suborbital space (at $200,000 per seat). But the capable WhiteKnightTwo is sure to find other work, too, from sightseeing flights to satellite launches to astronaut training. (www.virgingalactic.com, www.airventure.org)

    —Mary Grady

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