Stratolaunch Systems belongs to the American billionaire Paul Allen (Microsoft co-founder) and its objective is to create airplanes capable of launching satellites right during its flight, from an altitude of over 10,000 or 11,000 meters. The first aircraft of the company is simply called Stratolaunch, and it began its ground tests in Mojave, California, back in 2017.
Stratolaunch is the world’s biggest plane with a wing width of 120 meters, a length of 73 meters, a weight of 227 tonnes, 28 tires, and six Boeing 747 engines.
In theory, the plane can fly carrying a cargo of up to 590 tonnes and has a flight autonomy of 3704 kilometers.
The Stratolaunch should soon start its flying tests, most probably later this year or in early 2019. The world’s biggest plane, the Stratolaunch is scheduled to be officially launched in 2020.
In the video, which was recently twitted by the Stratolaunch Systems’ CEO and founder, Paul Allen, we can see the astonishing airplane while its speeding up to 40 knots, when the Stratolaunch’s engineers have performed a regression testing on the Mojave Air And Space Port in the past weekend, on February 24th and 25th.
“Captured new video of Stratolaunch plane as it reached a top taxi speed of 40 knots (46 mph) with all flight surfaces in place on Sunday. The team verified control responses, building on the first taxi tests conducted in December,” twitted Paul Allen
The video has already been viewed by approximately 40,000 times on Allen’s Twitter page and around 10,000 views on YouTube.
Stratolaunch, the world’s biggest plane ever built is formed by two main bodies and it will be able to launch up to three rockets to space from an altitude of over 11,000 meters.
This “bird” could also be the cheapest method of sending satellites on the Earth’s orbit, so we might see a lot of interest in Stratolaunch from telecommunication companies which would like to launch their satellites faster and cheaper.