Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen’s company Stratolaunch is preparing the world’s largest composite aircraft for fuel testing. This massive airplane is not another plane taking you from A to B. This plane is intended to launch satellite-bearing rockets more efficiently. The rocket gets mounted between the wings and will be carried by aircraft high up in the air to launch the payload. As an aviation enthusiast, you have to love this plane.
The facts of the airplane are as impressive as the idea:
- 6 Pratt & Whitney PW4056 engines power the aircraft (same as on a Boeing 747)
- 385 feet wingspan
- 238 feet long
- Tail Height 50 feet
- Max takeoff weight 1.300.000 lbs
- Payload capacity of over 500.000 lbs
- 2.000 nautical miles range
Stratolaunch is currently under construction at the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California. They aim to be fully operational by the end of this decade.
Paul Allen tweeted a video when the aircraft came out of the hangar.
— Paul Allen (@PaulGAllen) June 1, 2017
Let’s wait and see what comes in the near future. The plane is undergoing fuel testing now which will be the first steps for flight operation.