Thursday, December 17, 2009

White Knight One

As I said, Rutan designs are truly weird. But the lines do flow, albeit in strange and unconventional ways. Form does follow function, though, as White Knight One is a mothership with a hardpoint on the centerline just aft of the crew pod. The arch in the wing shape allows carriage of thick objects such as SpaceShipOne or experimental packages in the center. This does away with the asymmetric drag and weight penalties incurred by off-set pylons like on the old NB-52B.

In this particular case, WK1 is carrying a joint industry/university/DoD project exploring aerodynamic laminar flow shapes. It makes for a neat addition to the sweeping lines on the aircraft.

The photos were shot on the Friday media event at the Edwards AFB open house this past October.

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