How can White Knight II fly?

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Offline Atomic-S

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How can White Knight II fly?
« on: 10/12/2009 05:17:43 »
White Knight II, the mother ship of Space Ship Two the suborbital commercial spaceship, has a bizarre design that would seem to be an aircrash waiting to happen. It looks like two airplanes connected together at the wings. The first thought one would have is that if the two halves have even slightly different flight plans, then there will be a major problem. That might happen, for example, if they run into less than perfectly uniform atmospheric conditions. How does thing thing fly without breaking up?
 

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Offline daveshorts

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How can White Knight II fly?
« Reply #1 on: 10/12/2009 16:54:43 »
I think the main strategy is to just make the wing very very strong. It is not the first plane made out of two fuselages, the germans did it during WW2 for glider tugs. They attached two he-111s together with a 5th engine in the middle to make the he-111z
http://home.att.net/~berliner-Ultrasonics/aviatn-5.html#he111z

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Offline chris

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How can White Knight II fly?
« Reply #2 on: 10/12/2009 17:51:30 »
I suspect the space ship is also very light.
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Offline LeeE

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How can White Knight II fly?
« Reply #3 on: 11/12/2009 01:21:55 »
If the two halves have different flight plans then someone's in a whole lot of trouble.

The most important thing on an aircraft is the wing, not the fuselage(s).  You don't seem to have any problem with having multiple engines hanging off the wings, which is how nearly all large aircraft are configured these days, so why should you worry about having two fuselages?

In addition to the He-111z, there was also the more common twin-mustang, as well as many other twin-boom aircraft, ranging from the P-38/F-5 lightnings, to the DH-110 Sea Vixen
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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Offline Atomic-S

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How can White Knight II fly?
« Reply #4 on: 25/03/2010 07:05:31 »
Well, I guess the technical feasibility of bizarre aircraft has been amply demonstrated.