June 2, 2017
A massive aircraft manufactured to launch rockets into space from high altitude has been rolled out of its hangar for the first time in Mojave, California to initiate testing procedures (specially for fuel testing). The owner of the Stratolaunch aircraft is Billionaire Paul G. Allen.
The Stratolaunch aircraft has a 385-foot wingspan and features six engines used by the giant Boeing 747. It stands 50 feet tall and can carry more than 500,000 pounds of cargo. Currently, The Russian Antonov An-225 is the world’s largest active airplane.
Comparing Stratolaunch and An-225, the An-225 is 37 feet longer than Stratolaunch however; Stratolaunch’s wingspan is 95 feet longer than that of An-225.
Stratolaunch is specially designed to release rockets that will carry satellites into space. According to the CEO of Stratolaunch Jean Floyd, “This is a first- of- its -kind aircraft, so we’re going to be diligent throughout testing and continue to prioritize the safety of our pilots.”
Stratolaunch Systems Corp. has planned to have a launch demonstration as early as 2019. Paul Allen said, “Stratolaunch will take off from a runway. It will fly to the approximate cruising altitude of a commercial airliner before launching a launch vehicle. As the launch vehicle rockets into orbit, Stratolaunch will fly back to a runway landing for reloading, refueling and reuse.”