Stratolaunch, world's largest airplane by wingspan, takes its first flight

Stratolaunch, world's largest airplane by wingspan, takes its first flight

Stratolaunch, world's largest airplane by wingspan, takes its first flight

While Stratolaunch called its 73-metre-long aircraft the world's largest, other airplanes exceed it in length from nose to tail. "We are incredibly proud of the Stratolaunch team, today's flight crew and our partners", says Jean Floyd, CEO of Stratolaunch.

The company said the jet hit altitudes of up to 17,000 feet above the Mojave Desert while performance and handling qualities were evaluated.

Following its first flight, CEO Jean Floyd said it was incredible to "watch this majestic bird take flight" and the aircraft had made a "spectacular" landing.

The aircraft, built by rocket launch company "Stratolaunch", had its critical first test flight and is created to launch rockets into orbits from the air. The American business magnate, who co-founded Microsoft along with Bill Gates in 1975, died of cancer in October past year at the age of 65.

The aircraft is created to release rockets attached to the centre of its enormous wing, which stretches 385 feet from tip to tip.

The aircraft constructed and designed by Stratolaunch has a record breaking 385-foot wingspan and has been 8 years in the making. The odd aircraft, built by the legendary aeronautical engineering company Scaled Composites in the Mojave Desert, has two fuselages and is powered by six Boeing 747 engines. The plane has two fuselages each with its own cockpit-though only one is needed to fly-6 Pratt & Whitney engines, usually found on Boeing 747s, and 28 wheels for its landing gear.

Читайте также: Elon Musk's SpaceX sends world's most powerful rocket on first commercial flight

Putting small satellites into space via airplanes also promises to be cheaper than traditional rocket launches because it eliminates the need for launch pads and all the pricey equipment and infrastructure surrounding a traditional rocket launch.

With a dual fuselage design and wingspan greater than the length of an American football field, the airplane took off from Mojave Air and Space Port in the U.S. state of California at 6:58am Pacific Time, according to a release of Stratolaunch.

"The aircraft is a remarkable engineering achievement and we congratulate everyone involved". It is powered by six engines on a twin fuselage.

The Stratolaunch aircraft emerged from its Mojave hangar for the first time in May 2017 and proceeded through ground tests, including taxiing and rolling down a runway at near-takeoff speeds. The Stratolaunch aircraft completed its first flight, debuting a unique style of aircraft to the skies that could change the way we travel by air.

The previous world wingspan record holder was Howard Hughes' World War II-era eight-engine H-4 Hercules flying boat - nicknamed the Spruce Goose.

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