Fresh off the completion of its successful captive carry flight just a few days prior, Virgin Galactic‘s SpaceShipTwo (SS2), christened VSS Unity, took the next step in its flight certification regime by completing its first solo glide flight on December 3, 2016.
Though Unity has taken to the skies four times previously, all had been captive carry tests, with the vehicle firmly attached to the WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft, the VMS Eve.
As part of a measured approach before becoming fully operational, this first glide flight was with Unity flying unburdened with fuel and mass simulators.
“Today, Unity is flying light. Mountains of data & analysis preceded this flight; in testing, you check every assumption,” tweeted the company during the test flight.
Read more in my full piece at SpaceFlight Insider…