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Author Topic:   Virgin Galactic Delta-class suborbital ships
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 49799
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-25-2021 09:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier provided some details about the company's plans for a fourth generation spaceship during an earnings call on Thursday (Feb. 25, 2021):
We are embarking on a multi-year effort that targets flying 400 flights per year per spaceport. To do so, we will need to efficiently build more spaceships and more motherships. I'm pleased to share today that we have formally launched two new programs within Virgin Galactic that will be critical to this effort.

The first will be for our next-generation spaceship, the fourth generation, which we're referring to internally as the Delta class of vehicles. We'll be updating our engineering drawings to improve manufacturability and we will invest in our manufacturing facilities, processes and partnerships to improve cost and schedule efficiency. These vehicles are designed to have faster turnaround times due to the reduction in maintenance between flights.

While we will initiate our commercial service using the SpaceShipTwo and SpaceShip III class vehicles, it is our Delta class of spaceships that we believe will really accelerate the economic growth of the company.

The second and equally important new program is for our next-generation mothership. We plan to have the capability to fly multiple times per day at a spaceport and we will need multiple motherships to do so.

We have incredible teams that signed on these important programs and we will have more to say on these initiatives as we move forward.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 49799
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-02-2022 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic Announces Primary Suppliers for Delta Class Spaceships

Bell Textron Inc. and Qarbon Aerospace to manufacture major subassemblies for the next generation spaceships

Design work to begin immediately with vehicle production targeted to commence in 2023

Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc., an aerospace and space travel company, today (Nov. 2) announced that it has reached agreement with Bell Textron Inc. and Qarbon Aerospace to manufacture key subassemblies for the Company's new Delta class spaceships. The production-model vehicle is designed to fly weekly with six passengers per ship. Production is slated to begin in 2023.

Bell, a subsidiary of Textron Inc. with more than 85 years of manufacturing experience in the aviation industry, will supply the unique feathering system and flight control surfaces. Qarbon Aerospace, known for its expertise in constructing large, complex composite parts for aerospace and aviation, will produce the fuselage and wing. The companies were selected following a competitive RFP process based on their ability to meet Virgin Galactic's unique design and fabrication requirements.

Virgin Galactic will continue to be responsible for the overall system architecture, design authority for all components, and the final assembly, integration, checkout, and acceptance testing of the vehicles.

"The Delta class spaceships are an evolution of our distinctive flight system, designed for improved manufacturability, maintenance and flight rate capability," said Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier. "Bell and Qarbon Aerospace are established partners who bring know-how, ideas and resources that will enable us to produce up to six new Delta Class ships per year. Together with Aurora Flight Sciences, who is producing our next gen motherships, we now have the primary suppliers in place to propel the production of our spaceline fleet at scale."

Bell Vice President of Prototyping and Testing, Glenn Isbell said, "We are honored Virgin Galactic has chosen Bell to support flight control technology and aircraft manufacturing for its Delta Class spaceship program. Bell's 85-year legacy consists of revolutionary advancements in vertical lift and space technology, and we're thrilled to make this exciting return to space vehicle development to help bring Virgin Galactic's vision to life."

Qarbon Aerospace CEO, Pete Wick said, "We are truly honored that Virgin Galactic has selected Qarbon Aerospace to play such a critical role in this cutting-edge technology platform taking passenger spaceflight to the next level. This is the beginning of what I know is going to be a long and extremely successful partnership."

As previously announced, the spaceships will be assembled at Virgin Galactic's new facility in Arizona. The first Delta class spaceships are expected to commence revenue-generating payload flights in late 2025, progressing to private astronaut flights in 2026.

"After a highly competitive and methodical selection process, we are thrilled to be partnering with Bell and Qarbon Aerospace," added Swami Iyer, Virgin Galactic President, Aerospace Systems. "The Delta spaceship manufacturing process will benefit from our investment in digital twin technology, which enables seamless integration, real-time collaboration, strong governance, and increased production efficiency and reliability."

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