Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
You are viewing: Home > News > Science & Technology > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  
Science & Technology

World's largest plane flies for the first time

By T.K. Randall
April 14, 2019 · Comment icon 7 comments



This is one enormous airplane. Image Credit: YouTube / Stratolaunch
The gargantuan aircraft, which has a wingspan bigger than a football field, soared in to the sky on Saturday.
Measuring a whopping 385ft across and capable of carrying payloads of up to 500,000 pounds, the massive plane almost looks like two airliners stuck together with its unusual dual-fuselage design.

Spearheaded by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen, the project aims to create a cost-effective and reliable means with which to launch satellites, shuttles and other spacecraft from low-Earth orbit.

The huge aircraft took off for the first time from Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California yesterday and stayed aloft for two-and-a-half hours at a peak altitude of 17,000ft.
Its maiden flight enabled engineers to get a proper feel for its performance and handling.

Once it is ready for commercial operations, the plane, which is named Roc, will be able to serve as a relatively inexpensive option for launching satellite-carrying rockets in to space.

"What a fantastic first flight," said Stratolaunch CEO Jean Floyd. "Today's flight furthers our mission to provide a flexible alternative to ground-launched systems."

"We are incredibly proud of the Stratolaunch team, today's flight crew, our partners at Northrup Grumman's Scaled Composites and the Mojave Air and Space Port."



Source: Space.com | Comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by and then 4 years ago
What an innovative approach to launching things into space.  I've read about anti-satellite missiles being launched from aircraft but I thought they were much higher when launched than 35,000 ft.  I grew up watching NASA missions and I remember the excitement of waiting for a Saturn V launch but these days the thing that impresses me the most is the sight of launch vehicles RETURNING for a powered landing.  That STILL amazes me.
Comment icon #2 Posted by ouija ouija 4 years ago
Let's be honest, they've cheated a bit because it's actually two planes side by side so of course the wingspan is massive.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Habitat 4 years ago
I keep wanting to mentally connect the two tails, it does seem structurally unsound the way it is, but what would I know.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Susanc241 4 years ago
Can anybody tell me if they need pilots in both cockpits. Can?t find any mention of that.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Seti42 4 years ago
A while back, I watched a YouTube video about this, and they said the pilot/co-pilot are only on one side. Both sides can be loaded with cargo/instruments/people however.
Comment icon #6 Posted by bison 4 years ago
At 35,000 feet, they are above 3/4 of the Earth's atmosphere. That represents a considerable savings in fuel and, so, rocket weight, required to fight upward through atmospheric drag. The article doesn't mention it, but this plane can carry a payload of 400 tons (800,000 lbs.) ! 
Comment icon #7 Posted by aztek 3 years ago
another article did  


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


Our new book is out now!

The Unexplained Mysteries
Book of Weird News

 AVAILABLE NOW 

Take a walk on the weird side with this compilation of some of the weirdest stories ever to grace the pages of a newspaper.

Click here to learn more

We need your help!

Support us on Patreon

 BONUS CONTENT 

For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you can gain access to a wide range of exclusive perks including our popular 'Lost Ghost Stories' series.

Click here to learn more

 Total Posts: 7,333,409    Topics: 301,798    Members: 198,358

 Not a member yet ? Click here to join - registration is free and only takes a moment!
Recent news and articles