The Latest Flight Test Description From Scaled
Third glide flight of SpaceShipOne. Aft CG flying qualities and
performance evaluation of the space ship in both the glide and
re-entry or "feather" mode. Glide envelope expansion to 95%
airspeed, 100% alpha and beta and 70% loadfactor. More aggressive
post stall maneuvering and spin control as a glider and while
feathered. Nitrous temperature control during climb to altitude and
performance of upgraded landing gear extension mechanism and
space-worthy gear doors.
Launch conditions were 46,800 feet and 115 knots and produced a
clean separation. First stall entry maneuver resulted in an
un-commanded nose rise before reaching the wing stall angle of
Lateral/directional controls were used in conjunction with
forward stick to affect recovery. This aft-cg stall characteristic
was worse than predicted and will likely require aero modifications
to fix. The feather entry was not explored and the rest of the
glide flight used to assess the handling qualities of the vehicle
leading to an uneventful landing.
The White Knight's heating system was able to keep the
Spaceship's nitrous oxidizer conditioned during climb, such that
the maximum N2O pressure variation was less than 6 psi.