NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Virgin Galactic on Monday unveiled its first stage design for its high-speed aircraft, the Mach 3. The company also announced that it has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with Rolls-Royce in order to collaborate to design and develop engine propulsion technology for high-speed commercial aircraft.
On Virgin Galactic’s website, the aircraft is said to be able to have the capacity to carry nine to 19 people at an altitude above 60,000 feet and would also be able to have business class or first class seating arrangements to meet customer needs. Following Rolls-Royce’s completion of its Misssion Concept Review, the company is now authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Center for Emerging Concepts and Innovtion to work with Virgin Galactic in order to develop a certification framework.
“We are excited to complete the Mission Concept Review and unveil this initial design concept of a high speed aircraft, which we envision as blending safe and reliable commercial travel with an unrivaled customer experience,” said George Whitesides, Chief Space Officer of Virgin Galactic in a statement. “We are pleased to collaborate with the innovative team at Rolls-Royce as we strive to develop sustainable, cutting-edge propulsion systems for the aircraft, and we are pleased to be working with the FAA to ensure our designs can make a practical impact from the start. We have made great progress so far, and we look forward to opening up a new frontier in high speed travel.”
MCR has determined that the team can now move onto its next phase of design which will include defining specific system architectures and deciding what materials will be used in the aircraft’s design and manufacturing.
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