High Speed Mobility
THE FUTURE OF SPEED
Over the past fifty years, advances in commercial aviation have led to a truly connected world. As we look to the future, we must continuously improve already impressive levels of safety, reliability and passenger experience, but seek to transform environmental impact and speed. At The Spaceship Company (TSC), our design philosophy for a new generation of commercial aircraft is therefore geared around making high-speed aviation sustainable, without compromising safety and reliability, and with passenger experience as a top priority.
WHO WE ARE
TSC exists to make dreams take flight. We are an aerospace-system development and manufacturing company. We have developed SpaceShipTwo, a Mach 3 crewed spaceship built for and operated by our sister company Virgin Galactic. Virgin Galactic is the world’s first commercial spaceline, with a mission to open space for everyone. SpaceShipTwo has enabled Virgin Galactic to become the first and only company to put humans into space in a passenger carrying spaceship built for commercial service.
The Spaceship Company continues to push the boundaries of aerospace as we build upon the demonstrated technologies of SpaceShipTwo and utilize our vertically integrated capabilities to design, build, and test a fleet of low impact, high speed, point-to-point aircraft.
BUILT FOR THE CUSTOMER
Customer requirements vary; as a result, it’s essential to fully understand those diverse motivations to provide a high speed aircraft solution that maximizes value for operators, owners, and passengers. These diverse motivations will define the engineering and design requirements for the new aircraft. This customer-led process mirrors the same approach employed in the development of the SpaceshipTwo spaceflight system.
Extending from fuels and operations to manufacturing, we consider the complete lifecycle from where materials are sourced to how they are used (or reused). Global commercial aviation combined contributes 2-5% of anthropomorphic carbon emissions per year. Though supersonic aircraft—by virtue of how the market is stratified—will be an even smaller percentage of that, we hold ourselves to high standards for what the aviation industry can be for the future. We aim to be early adopters of state-of-the-art sustainable aviation fuel and manufacturing technologies. Adopting sustainable technologies and techniques into our aircraft early will also act as a catalyst to adoption in the rest of the aviation community.
We understand that sustainability is an all-encompassing field that includes noise, experienced both by on-board passengers as well as our neighbors on the ground in our communities. For supersonic aircraft, two major sources of this noise are the vehicle airframe (e.g., sonic boom) and the engine (e.g., the roar of the exhaust). Extensive study is underway in NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Transport program and X-59 test vehicle to understand the level of noise communities will notice and tolerate, with the latter X-plane incorporating many new design principles in order to limit the noise that an aircraft emits. In the case of high speed aircraft, they fly at much higher altitudes which provides additional attenuation as the sonic boom travels through the thicker atmosphere. In terms of engine noise, careful engine integration and on-board noise attenuation technologies will yield a superior passenger experience, while advanced engines and aerodynamic design limit the need for afterburning during takeoff.
Collaboration is required to overcome the challenges presented by high speed point-to-point travel. By working together with academic, government, and industry leaders, we will not only overcome these challenges but also create an aircraft that is good for both people and planet.
COMPANIES SUPPORTING OUR VISION