Published: Sun, April 14, 2019

World's largest plane makes first test flight

World's largest plane makes first test flight

Floyd said in a teleconference briefing that it was fantastic to "watch this majestic bird take flight" and he whispered a "thank-you" to Allen, who died in October 2018.

Created to send humans into space at a fraction of the cost of rockets, the white airplane called Roc took off shortly before 7 a.m. "Today's flight furthers our mission to provide a flexible alternative to ground launched systems".

Citing initial parameters, the officials said that the platform performed a variety of flight control manoeuvres to calibrate speed and test flight control systems, including roll doublets, yawing manoeuvres, pushovers and pull-ups, and steady heading side slips. It also conducted simulated landing approach exercises at a max altitude of 15,000 feet mean sea level.

The company seeks to cash in on higher demand in coming years for vessels that can put satellites in orbit, competing in the United States with other space entrepreneurs and industry stalwarts such as Elon Musk's SpaceX and United Launch Alliance - a partnership between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The aircraft is created to carry as many as three satellite-laden rockets under the center of its enormous wing, which stretches 385ft, or 117m. Rockets with orbital payloads will be mounted to the center wing of the aircraft, which will then be flown to an altitude of around 35,000 feet.

"The rest of the satellites journey will be taken care of by the rocket's engines that would automatically get ignited".

Allen's partner was specialty aircraft builder Scaled Composites. "Evan specializes in experimental flight test, aviation and test safety, aircraft stability and control testing as well as operational leadership", says an official.

An audience cheers the first, historic flight of Stratolaunch.

The Stratolaunch aircraft emerged from its Mojave hangar for the first time in May 2017 and proceeded through ground tests, including taxiing and rolling down a runway at near-takeoff speeds. "It definitely was ready to fly and wanted to fly and climbed out quickly". The plane has two fuselages each with its own cockpit-though only one is needed to fly-6 Pratt & Whitney engines, usually found on Boeing 747s, and 28 wheels for its landing gear.

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