back to article Scaled Composites refutes WhiteKnightTwo rudder rumours

Aircraft design firm Scaled Composites, engaged in building a fleet of space-joyride craft for Richard Branson, has strongly denied speculation that its new WhiteKnightTwo launch plane might need a rudder redesign. WhiteKnightTwo VMS <em>Eve</em> first flight. Credit: Virgin Galactic. Virgin Mother Ship Eve during her maiden …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's that smell?

    Far be it from me to dispute a press release that carries more spin than their engines..... but

    "a significant thrust asymmetry (not a fault of the engines or the design but of an asymmetric idle thrust setting) that resulted in a large yaw upon power-up "

    So it didn't yaw when pulled back to idle during the landing flare? "Power-up" is above idle so why would it yaw due to "idle thrust setting" then?

    "Both rudders were lightly scraped (less than ¼ inch of material) while recovering from this asymmetry. "

    Dinking the tail is a pitch event, not a yaw event. Both rudders? So it was parallel to the ground at the time.

    Well it so happens that I had a multi-engine rating yet I recognise nothing in the press release that fits with the theory or my experience.

    Shall we put it down to their talkdroid just not understanding the situation?

  2. V
    Dead Vulture

    Deny or refute - which?

    The content of the story suggest that they didn't refute it, they denied it. Was the word "rebut" what you were looking for in your headline (which currently has "refute")?

    Surely as a journalist tasked in part with distinguishing in print between claims made by a company and verified irrefutable fact in the face of which no contrary opinion is rationally possible, you should mark the distinction.

    There are lots of word that mean "deny" - but only one that carries the semantic weight borne by "refute" - and it is worth preserving.

  3. Aaron

    White Good

    From washing machine and cooker manufacturer to intergalactic spaceship manufacturer, now that's what I call taking a company forward!

  4. ian

    There it is again!

    "VMS Eve". Is the next one to be "VMS Mary"? If so, is the "spaceship" to be named "Jaysus"?

    And will I burn in hell for this thought?

  5. John Smith Gold badge


    Yaw is rotation around the vertical axis through the centre of gravity of the aircraft. Pitch is rolling around the axis running through the wings. A thrust imbalance in horizontal flight would be like the skid steering of tanks or bulldozers. Combine this with the pitching going on with a touch and go and (depending on how severe) you should get one or other of the boom ends suffering some damage, but not both. It is an unplanned yaw manoeuvre.

    So why they report *both* boom ends got scraped?

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