The truck en route to the Standard Iron & Metal Co. scrap yard on E. Reno Avenue in Oklahoma City Oct. 16 carried what is purported to be remnants of a Rocketplane design expected to fly from Oklahoma Spaceport to space.
The wing-shaped object was painstakingly designed, with figures and numbers inscribed on it, tight rivets flush in its skin “¦ and somebody had cut it in half with a blowtorch.
“So, is this where Rocketplane has landed?” asked one of the scrap yard’s workers.
Not yet, insists Rocketplane owner and Chief Executive Officer George French Jr. French said most of the previous parts for the XP are being scrapped because of a design update. The wing was for test purposes, he said, and it had run its course.
“That was a test wing that we were going to break anyhow,” French said. “We were building it to see how to build it, and then to break it, to test it. “¦ We’re not taking them to the dump. We had a couple of offers to buy them and we are selling them off. The wing, I don’t know where they are actually going to take the wing. It might be scrap. We don’t need that stuff any more because we are going public with the revised design.”
That revised design remains the subject of much speculation and anticipation since Rocketplane announced the changes earlier this summer. The plans were unveiled at the X-Prize Cup, to which French was traveling in New Mexico while granting the interview. “Scott Cooper and Ben Fenwick
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