Encyclopedia Astronautica
White Knight


Subsonic rocket launch aircraft. Loaded/empty mass 4,100/1,200 kg. Thrust 34.30 kN. Specific impulse 2000 seconds. Carries SpaceShipOne to release point 65 km from Mohave Airport base, then releases it at 15 km altitude at 215 kph. Wing area 43.5 sq m.

No Engines: 2. Release velocity: 60 m/s (196 ft/sec). Release altitude: 15 m (49 ft). Release angle: 0 deg. Release conditions: 215 kph at 15 km.

Location: 60.
Status: Retired 2004.
Gross mass: 4,100 kg (9,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 1,200 kg (2,600 lb).
Payload: 8,000 kg (17,600 lb).
Diameter: 1.52 m (4.98 ft).
Thrust: 34.30 kN (7,711 lbf).
Specific impulse: 2,000 s.
Number: 56 .

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • J85-GE-5 GE turbojet engine. 34.3 kN. Carries SpaceShipOne to release point 65 km from Mohave Airport base, then releases it at 15 km altitude at 215 kph. Wing area 43.5 sq m. Isp=2000s. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Tier One American winged rocketplane. Burt Rutan's Tier One was the second manned reusable suborbital launch system (after the B-52/X-15). But it was developed privately at a small fraction of the cost. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Air/Kerosene Ambient air (78 % nitrogen, 21% oxygen, etc.) is scooped up by air intakes and used in turbojet, turbofan, ramjet, scramjet, or other airbreathing engines. It is used to burn aviation-grade kerosene, commercial grade JP-4 or JP-5, their military equivalents, or special high-temperature blends such as those used in the SR-71. More...

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