Page 1 - Aerotech News and Review, Oct. 6 2017
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Stratolaunch Aircraft hits another milestone
with completion of first phase of engine testing

   The world’s largest aircraft moved a step closer       The team completed fuel testing, testing all six                                          Photographs courtesy of Stratolaunch Systems Corporation
to first flight in September.                          fuel tanks to ensure proper operations. Each of the
                                                       six fuel tanks were filled independently to ensure     Use your smartphone to connect to
   Stratolaunch Systems Corporation completed          proper operations of fuel mechanisms and to vali-                   our Website.
the first phase of engine testing for its Strato-      date the tanks were properly sealed.
launch aircraft at its facility at the Mojave Air
and Space Port in California.                             In addition to fuel testing, the company began
                                                       testing the flight control system.
   “For the first time we started the aircraft’s six
Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines,” said Jean              “So far we have exercised the full limits of mo-
Floyd, chief executive officer of Stratolaunch         tion and rate of deflection of control surfaces on
Systems Corporation.                                   the wing and stabilizers,” said Floyd.

   Engine testing was conducted with a build-up           Building up to this week’s engine tests, prereq-
approach and consisted of three phases. First, as      uisite testing of the electrical, pneumatic, and fire
a “dry motor,” where an auxiliary power unit was       detection systems were completed successfully.
used to charge the engine. Next, as a “wet motor,”
where fuel was introduced. Finally, each engine           “Over the next few months, we will continue to
was started one at a time and allowed to idle. In      test the aircraft’s engines at higher power levels
these initial tests, each of the six engines operated  and varying configurations, culminating to the
as expected.                                           start of taxi tests,” said Floyd. “As we work to-
                                                       ward that milestone, we look forward to sharing
   “It has been a busy, exciting, and productive       additional details on the aircraft’s journey.”
several months since the aircraft left the hangar
for the first time and began ground and flight line       The Stratolaunch aircraft is designed to pro-
testing,” said Floyd.                                  vide convenient, reliable and routine access to

                                                                        See STRATOLAUNCH, Page 7

October 6, 2017 • Volume 31, Issue 17                  Serving the aerospace industry since 1986
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