HomeNewsStratolaunch TA-1 Achieves Hypersonic Fligh

Stratolaunch TA-1 Achieves Hypersonic Fligh

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Stratolaunch successfully flew its Talon-A vehicle, TA-1, a major hypersonic milestone. The March 9, 2024, event in California marked the U.S.’s first private, reusable hypersonic test.

Historic Flight Achievements

The Talon-A vehicle, designated TA-1, achieved “high supersonic” speeds during its uncrewed test, approaching the hypersonic threshold of Mach 5.

The flight began with Stratolaunch’s Roc aircraft, a massive twin-fuselage plane, launching TA-1. Upon reaching a designated spot in the Pacific off central California, the team released TA-1 for its historic flight.

Test Objectives and Outcomes

The test aimed for a safe launch, engine start, acceleration, altitude gain, and controlled water landing.

According to Stratolaunch executives, TA-1 met these objectives, reaching high supersonic speeds and demonstrating the potential for approaching hypersonic flight. The vehicle, however, was not recovered as it was designed to be expendable for this initial test.

Future Plans and Developments

Stratolaunch plans to test its first reusable hypersonic vehicle, TA-2, later this year and is developing TA-3 and a second launch platform from a Boeing 747.

Impact on Hypersonic Research

Stratolaunch’s successful test of the Talon-A hypersonic vehicle, TA-1, advances hypersonic research. The Talon-A program aims to offer a cost-effective, reusable platform for accessing hypersonic speeds, promising faster, more affordable testing.

This approach enables rapid, iterative testing, increasing the pace of hypersonic research while reducing development costs and risks.

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