I'm sticking with what I said over there. They are not flight hardware.
Industry practice is to paint all tooling and jigs, temporary fixture/hardware yellow.
The only way to carry the weight and volume of such a cargo is by attaching it in the center.
Yes just imagine the CG shift when the payloads drops off. This problems have been around for a long time with large bombers.
Maybe ballast added to match the active one?
It only makes sense if most of the "ballast" was fuel anything else would make me think less of the design team.
I don't understand what the point of this aircraft is at all.... running 6 engines
I get your thinking, but the smaller engines were the only ones they can get their hands on at a reasonable price. All the large GE engines are being used by the 777's.. Also, it is important to note that they are salvaging the system from the two 747's. The engines match the systems and does not need new software for controls.
1. Air launch-to-orbit rockets look good on paper due to 1st stage booster weight reduction -- but in practice are too awkward to economically operate.
Awkward, perhaps, until you work out the kinks.
There are several benefits that this concept has over the two vertical launch system.
One is the type of fuel that is used get the system off the ground. You are much safer using jet fuel to get to 40K ft than using LOX. From there, solid fuel can take over. Both of these fuel type require less infrastructure to store and transport.
The other is you are not limited by launch site. There are probably more 12,000ft run ways than there are space launch facilities.
Finally, if you are to abort, you jettison the rocket. From there, you can separate the booster from the payload. The payload parachute to the ground, the plane return to the landing strip, the booster is detonated. You lose less hardware.
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