Stratolaunch has been awarded a contract by the US Air Force Research Laboratory to flight test a re-usable version of the company’s Talon-A hypersonic test vehicle.
The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) contract will see the launch of TA-3 from Roc, the world’s largest flying aircraft.
Talon-A is a rocket-powered, autonomous testbed with the capability to fly a variety of hypersonic flight profiles while carrying customized payload experiments on board.
Stratoloaunch successfully conducted a separation test of Talon earlier this year.
Mojave, California-based Stratolaunch’s existing contract with the AFRL, which was announced in late 2022, supports the first flight of TA-1, an expendable configuration of the Talon-A aircraft.
This second flight test covers Talon’s next test flight and will be the first time it will be landed so it can be re-used.
Re-usability is a key factor for Stratolaunch’s testbed because it can enable an increase in the flight test cadence and reduce the costs of hypersonic testing.
“We’re pleased AFRL chose to support the flight of TA-3 and continues to see value in our approach to low cost, high-cadence flight test,” said Dr. Zachary Krevor, CEO of Stratolaunch.
“We look forward to increasing the cadence of our flight test services for our customers in the near future.”