New ex­per­i­men­tal jet de­buts in So­Cal

The Mercury News - - Local News -

South­ern Cal­i­for­nia spe­cialty aero­space de­vel­oper Scaled Com­pos­ites has un­veiled a new ex­per­i­men­tal air­craft for an un­spec­i­fied “pro­pri­etary cus­tomer.”

The Northrop Grum­man sub­sidiary says the sin­gleengine jet flew for the first time Wed­nes­day.

The Mo­jave-based com­pany says Model 401 is the first of a pair of air­planes in­tended “to demon­strate ad­vanced, low-cost man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­niques, and to pro­vide air­craft for re­search flight ser­vices to in­dus­try part­ners and the United States govern­ment.”

The jet has a 38-foot wing­span, is 38 feet long and will fly at Mach 0.6, with a ser­vice ceil­ing of 30,000 feet. It is pow­ered by a Pratt & Whit­ney JTD-15D-5D engine. Scaled Com­pos­ites is known for such rev­o­lu­tion­ary aero­space de­signs as the SpaceShipOne rocket, which won the An­sari X Prize af­ter suc­cess­ful manned flights into space in 2004.

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