Applications news

REINFORCEDplastics February 2008 6
186 ft composite yacht under construction
HIGH MODULUS has begun the
structural engineering design of
the largest all-composite motor
yacht ever built. This 57 m (186 ft)
vessel will be produced by the vac-
uum infusion process and will be
the first composite motor yacht to
break the 500 gross ton threshold.
The yacht will be built
by Christensen Shipyards,
headquartered in Vancouver,
Washington, USA. Christensen
has been building composite
motor yachts between 47 m and
50 m (157 ft and 164 ft) for over
20 years, and this new Custom
186 Series will offer similar
benefits to the Custom 160 Series.
Owners will be able customise
the design of the superstructure,
window shapes, hull colours and
interior selections, but can rely
upon a proven hull and systems.
The 186 ft yachts will be
constructed in a new, purpose-
designed facility in Tennessee.
The 55 acre complex includes
state-of-the-art manufacturing
facilities, and has been designed
for maximum efficiency, leading
to controlled costs and on-time
Tooling will start in early
2008 and the first boat, for cur-
rent Christensen yacht owner
John Rosatti, is scheduled for
launch in 2011.
High Modulus, a structural
engineering and composite tech-
nology company with offices
in New Zealand and Europe, is
part of an international team
brought together to develop
this project. The company will
develop all composite structural
specifications and work with the
yard and other consultants to
ensure objectives are met. High
Modulus will liaise with Flag
and Class officers, and noise and
vibration consultants, to deliver
a yacht that meets noise and class
requirements within a high-per-
formance structural solution.
High Modulus;
Christensen Shipyards;
Virgin Galactic unveils spaceship design
tourism' company founded by
Sir Richard Branson, has unveiled
the designs of its SpaceShipTwo
spaceship and WhiteKnightTwo
launch system.
The launch system is based
on the X Prize-winning technol-
ogy of SpaceShipOne, which suc-
cessfully flew into space for the
third time in October 2004 and
won the US$10 million Ansari
X Prize. The construction of the
WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier
aircraft is now close to completion
at Scaled Composites in Mojave,
California, and is expected to
begin flight testing this summer.
Virgin says this is the world’s
largest, all-carbon composite
aircraft. It is designed to launch
SpaceShipTwo and eight astro-
nauts into sub-orbital space
“Virgin Galactic produced a
demanding output specification
for the world’s first private human
and payload space launch system,"
says Burt Rutan, CEO of Scaled
Composites. "This required us to
produce a safe but flexible design
capable of multiple applications in
new market sectors."
Virgin Galactic says its aim
is end the exclusivity attached to
manned space travel by design-
ing a vehicle which can fly almost
anyone to space safely, without
the need for special expertise
or exhaustive training. However,
tickets will cost US$200 000!
Virgin Galactic;
Scaled Composites;
The 186 ft yacht will be produced using the vacuum infusion process.
A technical diagram of SpaceShipTwo.
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