WhiteKnightTwo is the mothership for SpaceShipTwo and is currently the world’s largest commercial all composites aircraft. The first WK2, christened VMS Eve after Sir Richard Branson’s mother, was revealed to the public for the first time in July 2008 and had its maiden flight in December 2008. To date, Eve has completed its extensive test flight program with Scaled Composites and is now owned and operated by Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company.
With its unique twin-tail / twin-cabin design and long “W” wing, WK2 is currently the world’s largest all-composite aircraft – sporting a wing span of 140 ft. The structural strength, performance, handling, and open-ended design allows for heavy lifting capability, expanded-altitude flight, and flexibility for a multitude of future applications. Remarkably, for a vehicle of its size, WK2 is capable of performing high and zero g maneuvers and can duplicate SS2’s approach flight path angle – making it a highly useful in-flight simulator for this important final stage of SS2’s mission.
WK2 is powered by four Pratt & Whitney PW308A engines and is piloted from the right-hand cabin by two crew. WK2’s control cabin is identical in shape and size to SS2’s cabin and is equipped with many common elements to SS2.
Click here for a downloadable data sheet for WK2.
• All composite construction
• Dual fuselage and empennage
• Quad retractable landing gear
• Crew: 2
• Capacity: 8
• Length: 78 feet
• Wingspan: 140 feet
• Height: 30 feet
• Integrated glass cockpit
• (4) Pratt & Whitney PW308A
• Thrust / Engine: 6,904 lbs
• Altitude: ≈ 52,000 feet
• Range: Over 2,000 nautical miles
• Payload (main): ≈35,000 lb
• For historical flight test summaries for WK2 visit Scaled Composites