World's Largest Plane Rolls Out For Testing

Posted: Jun 1 2017, 7:45am CDT | by , in Technology News


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World's Largest Plane Rolls Out for Testing
he Stratolaunch plane is pushed out of the hanger for the first time in the Mojave desert, California on May 31, 2017. Credit: Stratolaunch
  • Stratolaunch Unveils the World’s Biggest Aircraft to Start Ground Testing

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Stratolaunch just revealed the world’s biggest aircraft and it is not meant to carry passengers. Stratolaunch's rocket-launching plane makes its first rollout out of hanger to begin fueling tests.

Paul Allen is a name that many of us know from his association with Microsoft. He moved away from the country for his health. However, he continued to have a big stake in the company which includes him among the richest people on Earth.

Allen has been devoting himself to another passion in all his time away. He has immersed his efforts and resources into building the world’s biggest aircraft.

That’s right! Allen has built the world’s biggest aircraft with Scaled Composites. Nicknamed the ‘Roc’, the plane has been named Stratolaunch. The Stratolaunch has been taken out of the hangar in California desert for the first time ever since it started building six year ago.

Both Paul Allen and Stratolaunch Systems Corporation chief executive Jean Floyd released social media posts of the unveiling of the Stratolaunch. The world’s biggest aircraft weighs in at 500,000 pounds (226,796 kilograms) and has the world's largest plane wingspan, measuring 385 feet.

For reference, if the plane was taxied in a football field, the wingtips will range beyond the goalpost by 12 feet on each side. It has six jet engines, 28 wheels and it is not meant to carry human passengers.

The company informed that the Stratolaunch has been working on the world’s biggest airplane’s unveiling. The process involved the removal of fabrication infrastructure. That included a three-story scaffolding surrounding the aircraft.

It was the first time that they rested the aircraft’s full weight on its 28 wheels. It was a crucial step according to company representatives. It has indicated that the Stratolaunch aircraft is ready for ground testing, engine runs, taxi tests, and ultimately first flight.

In case you’re wondering, the Stratolaunch aircraft has been designed for Low Earth orbit. It is meant to carry rocket and fuselages for aerial launch. That would conserve on expensive rocket fuel required for ground launches.

It will also help transport material between space crafts and satellites. It’s big structure will allow the aircraft to collect and provide necessary data while flying in low orbit.

The company noted that they will be conducting ground and flight tests at the Mojave Air and Space Port. They said that the safety of their pilots and crew is the most important. If the schedule remains on time, the world’s biggest aeroplane will be ready for its first demonstration in 2019.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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