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Science & Technology

World's largest plane takes to the skies over California

By T.K. Randall
March 1, 2022 · Comment icon 4 comments

Stratolaunch is the largest plane ever built. Image Credit: YouTube / MDx Media / Stratolaunch
With a wingspan greater than that of an entire football field, this gargantuan aircraft is a sight to behold.
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.

Having first taken to the skies back in 2019, the gigantic plane took off once more from Mojave Air and Space Port in California on Thursday for another test flight that lasted 1 hour and 43 minutes.

During the flight, Stratolaunch reached a maximum altitude of 15,000 feet.
According to NASA, the test focused on the retraction system of the plane's landing gear.

"Today's successful flight demonstrates and validates improvements to the carrier aircraft's systems and overall flight performance," said Stratolaunch CEO Zachary Krevor.

"The full landing gear retraction and extension brings the carrier aircraft closer to operational status, a milestone that is necessary to ready the aircraft for Talon-A separation and hypersonic flight tests later this year."

You can check out a stream of the entire flight below.

Source: | Comments (4)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Jon the frog 1 year ago
A bit sad to see that after the Antonov 225 got busted in Ukraine.
Comment icon #2 Posted by brokenbutcher2016 1 year ago
say " chase plane" one more time, I dare ya, I double dare ya!.† I dont know why that thing doesn't just snap in 2.. seems such a brittle design to me..†
Comment icon #3 Posted by Alchopwn 1 year ago
Bye bye Antonov 225, poor Ukraine. Hello SCM351 Stratolaunch.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Myles 1 year ago
It's already used more fuel than my entire extended family has in their lifetimes.†

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