The World’s Largest Plane has Just Taken Flight
This plane launches rockets…
Rocket launching company Stratolaunch Systems has just finished its first test flight of the aptly named: Stratolaunch Aircraft. This behemoth of an aircraft weighs in at a whopping 500,000 pounds and has a wingspan of 385 feet. For scale, that is over 100 feet longer than the length of the Boeing 747 (250 ft), the industry standard. But this poses an integral question, why would anyone need such a large aircraft? Simple answer: to launch rockets.
Yep, that’s right; there is a 500,000 pound rocket launcher that can cruise through the skies at 35,000 feet. The aircraft is equipped to launch 2 rockets by essentially dropping them out of the sky while their thrusters activate. Its first customer, Northrop Grumman, plans to use the mega-plane to launch its Pegasus XL rocket into space.
This is major news for the company that, according to The Verge, just recently laid off over 50% of its employees and cut all plans to develop their own rockets. This momentous achievement will hopefully allow the company to regain financial stability and innovate in the new era of space-technology into the future.
The Test Flight
The maiden flight started at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California and lasted about 150 minutes. As per report, the plane safely and successfully landed after cruising at a maximum 15,000 ft at 175 mph.