An unbelievable footage, filmed in 2011, shows a really unusual formation, including an Airbus 320 and White Knight Two carrying the SpaceShipTwo, disintegrated over Mojave desert few days ago.
On Apr. 6, 2011, Virgin America A320 named “My Other Ride is a Spaceship” flew beside Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo over San Francisco to celebrate Virgin America’s new terminal at SFO airport.
The following footage was filmed from aboard the Airbus, as the “mothership” and an accompanying Beechcraft Baron 58 chase plane rejoined on the liner’s left wing, in a rendez-vous reminding that of the receivers on an aerial refueler, to take some cool images of the rather unusual formation.
With a service ceiling of 60,000 feet, the jet-powered cargo aircraft used to lift the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft to a release altitude of 50,000 feet, features two fuselage, one of those is an exact replica of that of SpaceShipTwo to allow tourist training.
On Oct. 31, during a first test over Mojave desert, SS2 disintegrated in flight, seconds after release from White Knight Two. Although the cause of the incident is still being investigated, NTSB team revealed that an uncommanded feather deployment occurred 9 sec. after ignition of the hybrid rocket, possibly overstressing the airframe until it collapsed.
H/T Stefano Perer/Flapa for the heads-up