This recently released video clip shows the unusual cranked wing, twin-boom design of the WhiteKnightTwo, and was shot at Mojave, Calif. on the eve of its roll-out on July 28. The WK2 can only be flown from the right hand side fuselage (or left boom if looking at it from head-on), and don’t be fooled by the windows on the left hand fuselage – they’re painted on! The production WK2, and later this prototype, are designed to have windows in both booms as Virgin Galactic ultimately plans to put passengers in both, as well as in the SpaceShipTwo (SS2). The spacecraft will be mounted beneath the inverted V of the clear space between the two booms and dropped at 48,000ft for its rocket-powered flight to an apogee of at least 360,000 ft. Weightless conditions are expected to last for up to six minutes during the flight, the full length of which will last two hours from take off to touchdown. The partially complete SS2 prototype was hidden beneath a black tarp in the Scaled Composites hangar during the rollout ceremony, and its big day is expected to come with an unveiling about a year from now. Eagerly awaited flight tests of the WK2 are expected to start this fall.
(Video: courtesy Virgin Galactic)