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Stratolaunch is about to test supersonic aircraft

AmericaEarlier this week, California-based Stratolaunch introduced the TA-0, an experimental version of the Talon-A supersonic aircraft, which was dropped from the world’s largest plane Roc at an altitude of 10,000 meters.

Talon-A supersonic aircraft TA-0 test vehicle.  Photo: Stratolaunch

Talon-A supersonic aircraft TA-0 test vehicle. Image: Stratolaunch

With two side-by-side fuselages, six Boeing 747 engines, 28 wheels and a wingspan of 117 meters, the Roc is the largest aircraft in the world today (in terms of wingspan). According to the original plan, Roc would carry the launch vehicle to the stratosphere and release from there. Next, the launch vehicle will fire up the engine, carrying the cargo to low Earth orbit, which is much more fuel efficient than taking off directly from the ground. However, after changing owners, Stratolaunch decided to use Roc to drop the Talon-A drone, which can fly at speeds above Mach 5 (6,174 km/h) before landing automatically on the road. ice. This aircraft will be used mainly to conduct research on various aspects of supersonic flight.

The TA-0 is not a complete missile version of the Talon-A. Instead, it was a test vehicle used to evaluate and test the vehicle release system from below the Roc’s center wing (the wing between the fuselages). The TA-0 has no engines, so it is possible that the vehicle will lurch or land with a parachute to the ground.

Roc’s supersonic aircraft release unit is made of aluminum and covered with carbon fiber, weighs about 3,629 kg and is 4.3 m long. This unit integrates the winch system used to pull the TA-0 up and fix it in place before take-off. As expected, the first flight of TA-0 will take place later this year.

An Khang (Follow New Atlas)

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