Largest airplane of the world takes its flight on Saturday morning for the first time in Mojave that was manufactured by “Stratolaunch”. In California just after the sun rises over the Mojave Desert on Saturday, the biggest aircraft took its first ever flight after eight years of making. This giant airplane takes its first flight around 10AM ET from the Space Port and Mojave Air.
Biggest Aircraft’s Flight
The weight of this plane is 500,000 pounds with 385-foot wingspan that was built to send rockets to the orbit around the Earth. This flight lasted for 150 minutes and after that landed safely according to the company. Before that the purpose of this Stratolaunch was to carry a 250-ton rocket fully loaded with satellites into the stratosphere at an altitude of around 35000 feet.
— Stratolaunch (@Stratolaunch) April 13, 2019
This is designed in a way that it has a dual-fuselage that ignites its engine and give it a boost to revolve in the orbit around the planet. One customer Orbital ATK has already signed an agreement with this company which are going to use Stratolaunch to send its rocket Pegasus XL rocket into space.
According to CEO of Stratolaunch Jean Floyd, it was a very emotional moment for him as this biggest aircraft took its first flight. He further said to reporters that all of you have been patient and tolerant for years to see when this big bird gets off the ground and finally we did it.
He was overwhelmed that this biggest airplane worked the same way as expected with a speed of 175 miles per hour and an altitude of 15000 feet.
Taxi testing in the #Mojave. The @Stratolaunch aircraft reached 136 mph in testing, almost takeoff speed! The world's largest airplane is designed to launch orbital class rockets in flight. @VulcanInc pic.twitter.com/fOZDtvSXqO
— Maxar Technologies (@Maxar) January 10, 2019
Evan Thomas, the test pilot revealed the fact that the flight was smooth and just like the one you want for the first time. He further said that Stratolaunch has previously tested the handling qualities of this huge airplane. Thomas said that this flight was the same as expected and predicted to be. An interesting thing is that this airplane works like a watch according to Stratolaunch and lands exactly on the mark after few low passes.
Well, three months before this Saturday, Stratolaunch successfully laid off 50 employees, but canceled this plan to build its own rocket. Basically, this company actually planned to build its own rocket and a space-plane, but changed the plan after the death of Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder. Paul Allen is the one who started Stratolaunch in 2011.
CEO Stratolaunch, Jean Floyd says during a press call that Paul would have been very proud to see the flight of this big bird, if he were alive. Floyd said that I know he was not there today, but I did whisper “Thank You”.
Paul, thanks for your vision and inspiration. Wish you had been here to see the remarkable first flight of your Stratolaunch aircraft. #StratoFirstFlight @Stratolaunch @VulcanInc pic.twitter.com/Q3gg3esRA5
— Jean Floyd (@WJeanFloyd) April 14, 2019
Before this major successful flight, this aircraft has undergone several incremental tests in the last few years. In 2017, the engine tests and many rollouts happened at various speeds in the sky of Mojave.