The aircraft was named after Evette Branson, the mother of Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group. The jet plane has nose art of a blonde woman holding the Virgin Galactic corporate flag. The image is based on how Evette Branson looked when she was younger and is called Galactic Girl. The aircraft was officially launched on July 28, 2008, in Mojave, California, the United States, at the Mojave Spaceport, home of Scaled Composites. On December 12, 2008, the aircraft performed first taxi tests, and a week later the maiden flight.Eve will be used in the Virgin Galactic testflight program, preceding entry into commercial usage.
It is the largest all composite aircraft ever constructed and has the longest single-piece composite aircraft part: a 140 ft (43 m) long wingspan.Burt Rutan has dismissed fears that pressurization cycles might induce fatigue failure in the composite structure. Richard Branson has also announced that it will be highly fuel efficient.
The initial flight tests were planned to begin in early September 2008 but they were delayed. On 12 December 2008 the initial low speed taxi test was carried out at Mojave followed by a high speed taxi on 16 December. By September 2009 the flight envelope was extended to 50000 feet. Testing has continued, with some delays and setbacks, and as of 19 September 2014[update] the total flight time for WhiteKnightTwo is 333.96 hours.