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Stratolaunch Aircraft completes of first phase of engine testing

News International-French

3 Oct 2017

For the first time the company started the aircraft’s six Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines.

Stratolaunch Aircraft completes of first phase of engine testing

Engine testing was conducted with a build-up approach and consisted of three phases. First as a ‘dry motor,’ where we used an auxiliary power unit to charge the engine. Next, as a ‘wet motor,’ where we introduced fuel. Finally, each engine was started one at a time and allowed to idle. In these initial tests, each of the six engines operated as expected.

It has been a busy and productive several months since the aircraft left the hangar for the first time and began ground and flight line testing.

The team completed fuel testing, testing all six fuel tanks to ensure proper operations. Each of the six fuel tanks were filled independently to ensure proper operations of fuel mechanisms and to validate the tanks were properly sealed.

Stratolaunch Aircraft completes of first phase of engine testing

In addition to fuel testing, the company began testing the flight control system. They have exercised the full limits of motion and rate of deflection of control surfaces on the wing and stabilizers.

Building up to this week’s engine tests, prerequisite testing of the electrical, pneumatic, and fire detection systems were completed.

Over the next few months, the company will continue to test the aircraft’s engines at higher power levels and varying configurations, culminating to the start of taxi tests.

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