Photographed for the first time since its 28 July roll out, on 17 October Virgin Galactic's prototype WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) mothership was rolled onto the apron at Mojave air and space port for engine and wing work by its developer Scaled Composites.

In this exclusive image obtained by Flightglobal the WK2's Pratt & Whitney 308A engines are uncowled and its ailerons and elevators removed.

17 Oct 08 wk2
©Flight/Alan Radecki

 Above: WhiteKnightTwo undergoes work prior to its
expected November maiden flight
While Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn told Flightglobal at the end of September that flight tests could occur "possibly within the next few weeks", they are expected to occur in November following Sir Richard Branson's comments reported by on 17 October.

See more images of WK2 and SpaceShipTwo, which it carries, in Flightglobal's gallery

Read more about a mystery surrounding WK2's 28 July roll out at Rob Coppinger's blog Hyperbola

Source: Flight International