The White Knight is a jet-powered carrier aircraft developed by Scaled Composites through their Tier One Program. It was used to launch the SpaceShipOne spacecraft. The White Knight is registered as N318SL with the Federal Aviation Administration and its model number is 318 with Scaled Composites.
The White Knights maiden flight was on the 1st of August 2002 but due to some problems it was aborted. Its next flight happened on the 5th of August 2002 and this next flight turned out very well. So on the 18th of April 2003 the White Knight and SpaceShipOne was introduced to the media.
The visibility of the White Knight was much better than what other people expect. By just moving the head the pilot will see the acceptable picture outside the world. Its cockpit was called a pressure vessel because of the airtight and the air that is not exchanged freely with the outside air.
On the 20th of May 2003 the first captive carry flight with White Knight and SpaceShipOne took place. Peter Siebold was the pilot of this flight and Binnie was the co-pilot. The flight took 1.8 hours. The ScaceShipOne system was inactive, controls were locked, and its cabin was unmanned. The Launch system was qualified and functional during that particular flight. Its next flight took place on the 29th of July 2003. It was the first captive carry flight wherein the SpaceShipOne was manned. The White Flight was piloted by Brian Binnie and co-piloted by Bird while Melvill piloted the SpaceShipOne. This flight took about 2.1 hours.