The largest airplane in the world was rolled out of its giant garage for the first time on Wednesday and it was pretty cool. The Stratolaunch was designed to release rockets that will carry satellites to space.
The massive plane, which has a wingspan of 285 feet, was rolled out to begin fueling tests. It features 6 engines used by the Boeing 747 and it can hold over 500,000 pounds of payload.
It truly is an amazing sight and it features twin-fuselage aircraft making it look advanced and futuristic. Who knew there was a giant plane with 28 wheels hiding out there?
Currently, the largest active plane is the Russian Antonov An-255. Although this plane is actually 37 feet longer, it’s no match for The Stratolaunch’s massive wingspan.
Stratolaunch CEO Jean Floyd said: “This is the first of its kind, so we’re going to be diligent throughout testing and continue to prioritize the safety of our pilots.”
Floyd also announced that Stratolaunch Systems Corp. plans to do a launch demonstration as soon as 2019.
The Stratolaunch will take off from a runway. Then, it will fly to the altitude that a commercial airliner would hit before launching the launch vehicle.
‘As the launch vehicle rockets into orbit, Stratolaunch will fly back to a runway landing for reloading, refueling, and reuse,’ said Paul G. Allen–Philanthropist and Entrepreneur.
The Stratolaunch System was founded by Allen in 2011. The hangar is located at the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California.
The goal was to make low-Earth orbit convenient, reliable, and routinely. He teamed up with Burt Rutan to build the huge plane. Here’s a photo of the largest operational plane in flight.
There are other billionaires involved in the existence of the Stratolaunch. It seems like there are other people with dreams and wallets big enough to tackle outer space.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, and Elon Musk, the Telsa and SpaceX CEO, have distinguished themselves as much-watch innovators. SpaceX has already made history by launching two rockets into space. The Stratolaunch could be the next step in sending things to space, and it’s a pretty interesting and futuristic concept.