The public right now has only a right idea of what SpaceShipTwo and its carrier aircraft, White Knight Two, will look like, based primarily on the promotional animations and images released by Virgin Galactic. Flightglobal.com took the interesting step of using those images and modifying them based on comments on the design made by Burt Rutan last month in a speech in Alabama (which I wrote about and was cited in the Flightglobal.com article.) The revised illustration takes into account the wingspan of WK2 (43 meters) and that it will have four engines; the SS2 design now incorporates a low wing instead of a mid or high wing, which Rutan said was shifted to reduce a dihedral effect on SS1 that caused control problems.
How accurate these new illustrations are is anybody’s guess. The good news, though, is that we won’t have to wait much longer to find out what these vehicles really look like: Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn told Flight International that the company plans to unveil the designs of WK2 and SS2 at an event in New York in January.