For more information contact:
David Berkley, EAA Communications
VIRGIN GALACTIC CONFIRMS PLANS FOR WHITEKNIGHTTWO (VIRGIN MOTHERSHIP
EVE) WORLD DEBUT AT EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH 2009
EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (Feb. 24, 2009) - As the era of
clean, safe, and affordable access to space dawns, the pioneers at
Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites have again chosen EAA AirVenture
Oshkosh as the stage for unveiling their innovations. After successfully
completing its initial flight test program, space launch vehicle Virgin
Mothership (VMS) Eve will make its world public debut on July 27 at EAA
AirVenture Oshkosh 2009.
The space launch vehicle will arrive as part of the opening-day air
show. AirVenture attendees will have opportunities for up-close viewing
of the vehicle on the ground each day until its departure flight as part
of the Saturday, Aug. 1 air show. Event organizers and Virgin Galactic
officials are hopeful to arrange additional showcase flights during the
"This will be a major highlight of our event. Since the appearance of
the X-Prize-winning WhiteKnight and SpaceShipOne at AirVenture four
years ago, our members have eagerly awaited the next advancements from
the Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites innovators," said EAA
president and AirVenture chairman Tom Poberezny.
"Burt Rutan, the chief designer of Virgin Galactic's launch vehicle and
spacecraft, truly embodies the EAA spirit. His accomplishments show how
far our passion for building and flying aircraft can go. Over the
decades, this EAA member has created some of the world's most inventive
designs, including the vehicles that will take private-citizen
astronauts into space. We're all eager to welcome Burt and his team back
to Oshkosh," Poberezny said.
"Likewise, the EAA community is eager to applaud Virgin Galactic for
employing corporate muscle and mettle to bring ambitious dreams within
reach," he added.
Will Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic commented: "Our new launch
vehicle, VMS Eve, is both visually remarkable and represents
ground-breaking aerospace technology. It has a unique heavy lift, high
altitude capability and an open architecture driven design that provides
for maximum versatility in the weight, mass, and volume of its payload
potential. VMS Eve is capable of lifting SpaceShipTwo, an unmanned
satellite launch or space science vehicle and also being capable of use
as an astronaut training vehicle. Its carbon composite construction also
gives unprecedented fuel efficiency and the strength to perform high g
maneuvers and parabolic flight," he said.
"Together with Scaled Composites, we are delighted to be showcasing this
incredible vehicle and demonstrating its capabilities in public for the
very first time. It is particularly appropriate that we are doing this
at the 2009 AirVenture event in conjunction with the EAA, which has done
so much over the years to support and promote aerospace innovation,"
According to Whitehorn, Virgin Galactic plans to conduct test flights of
VMS Eve carrying SpaceShipTwo during the second half of 2009.
Dwarfing its namesake predecessor, WhiteKnightTwo is the world's largest
all carbon composite flying vehicle. The 140-foot wingspan is the
longest single carbon composite aviation component ever manufactured.
The launch vehicle's mission will include ferrying SpaceShipTwo and
thousands of private astronauts, science packages, and payload on the
first stage of the Virgin Galactic sub-orbital space experience.
EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH is The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration and
EAA's yearly membership convention. EAA members receive lowest prices on
admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call
1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit http://www.eaa.org/. EAA AirVenture
information is also available through the World Wide Web at
http://www.airventure.org/. Instant EAA news is available at