16 ft. 5 in.
16 ft. 5 in.
SpaceShipOne from Scaled Composites is the first non-government sponsored manned aircraft ever to reach space. This was accomplished in two flights. The first on September 29, 2004 and again on October 4, 2004.
The idea behind the rocket powered aircraft was to prove that private enterprise could develop a vehicle capable of taking people into space at a fraction of the cost of government programs. The reward was the Ansari X Prize of US$10,000,000.
Flying the aircraft required a compromise of coordinating its controls to obtain maximum velocity with tempering overall maximum performance parameters to enable a smooth and stable flight path. A lack of primary control response resulted in over controlled inputs in the thin sub-orbital atmosphere during prior test flights causing the rapid spinning of the aircraft. This was avoided during record setting attempts.
SpaceShipOne was carried to a launch altitude of just over 47,000 feet under the belly of its launch vehicle named the White Knight. When launched, a rocket motor took the space vehicle to an altitude of over 367,000 feet.
On October 4, 2004 SpaceShipOne piloted by Brian Binnie, set an altitude record of 367,441 feet while transporting two passengers.
The rocket flights lasted last than half an hour each from the time of engine ignition to their landings.
SpaceShipOne has been retired and is currently on display at the Smithsonian.
The RC Space Ship One scratch built by Rocket Team Vatsass is 80 in. long with a 72 in. wingspan and has a 15 in. diameter. The scale model RC airplane uses an L class motor for power. Its weighs about 49 lbs.