Sealed Composite's Spaceship Two: Aircraft Accident Report
This aircraft and test involved another experimental aircraft, the WhiteKnight Two (WK2) with both of these aircrafts being used in this test. The ultimate goal was for these aircraft to be used in conjunction by Virgin Galactic to allow for civilians to buy passage for a space/suborbital flight. This particular flight did involve the loss of the test aircraft as well as one serious injury and one death.
The concept of the aircraft configuration was for the SS2 to be attached to the WK2 allowing for the aircrafts to take off as one unit. The flight crew of the WK2 consisted of two test pilots and one flight test engineer. The main purpose of the WK2 was to act as a high-altitude launch vehicle for the SS2. The flight crew of the SS2 consisted of two Scaled Composites’ test pilots with one as the SS2 pilot who was seated in the left seat and one as the SS2 copilot who was seated in the right seat. The pilot of the SS2 had the role of the pilot-in-command and the person who was assigned to fly the aircraft. The copilot had the role of the monitoring pilot. During this particular test an extra aircraft was involved; a single-engine EA-300L aerobatic aircraft to act as a chase