Watch This: First "Feather Glide" Of Virgin's SpaceShipTwo
May 19, 2011 16:03
Virgin Galactic has released a clip of SpaceShipTwo's first "feather glide" test, which involves gliding to Earth
using a special method of slowing down the plane from any reentry angle. Even though this was the seventh glide flight of the spaceship, this was
the first time the tail of the plane was raised in its feather position
that will slow it down as it reenters Earth's atmosphere.
The test run apparently took place on May 4, but the video was released only on Wednesday, May 18.
The feathering maneuver rotates the wing tips upward, slowing down the craft and allowing it to reenter the atmosphere from any angle at orbital speeds of 16,000 mph.