Stratolaunch announced the public debut of its first structurally complete Talon-A test vehicle on Thursday. While this version, TA-0, will not be powered in flight, future Talon-As are expected to be capable of carrying customizable payloads at speeds above Mach 5, eventually serving as fully reusable hypersonic test vehicles. The model is designed to be carried and launched from a pylon situated on the Stratolaunch Roc carrier aircraft’s 95-foot center wing section.
“We’re proud to reveal our first test vehicle to the public and our key stakeholders,” said Stratolaunch President and CEO Zachary Krevor. “TA-0 represents the immense progress our company has made toward hypersonic flight in a short period of time. Our pace of development parallels the nation’s critical need for hypersonic test capabilities, and we are putting forth every effort toward becoming a national test asset for our government and commercial customers in 2023.”
According to Stratolaunch, TA-0 will be used to test and validate the release system on the Roc along with characterizing the separation dynamics of the Talon vehicle itself. The company says TA-0 will undergo functional and integration testing over the next few months with the first captive carry and vehicle flight planned for later this year. As previously reported by AVweb, Stratolaunch successfully tested the release pylon during Roc’s fifth test flight earlier this month.