Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

World’s biggest airplane takes flight for the first time ever

World’s biggest airplane takes flight for the first time ever

The plane flew for two and a half hours before landing back in Mojave, reaching a top speed of 278 kilometers per hour and altitude of 4,570 meters.

Stratolaunch CEO Jean Floyd said the aircraft made a spectacular landing.

The aircraft is created to release rockets attached to the centre of its enormous wing, which stretches 385 feet from tip to tip. "Evan specializes in experimental flight test, aviation and test safety, aircraft stability and control testing as well as operational leadership", says an official.

The world's largest aircraft took off over the Mojave Desert in California on Saturday, the first flight for the carbon-composite plane built by Stratolaunch Systems Corp, started by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, as the company enters the lucrative private space market.

Stratolaunch took off just before 7 AM PDT from the Mojave Air Space Port (MASP), achieved a maximum speed of 189 miles per hour at an altitude of 17,000 feet.

Stratolaunch has said that it intends to launch its first rockets from the Roc in 2020 at the earliest Photo: Reuters.

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A giant six-engine aircraft with the world's longest wingspan completed what company officials called a successful initial flight over California's Mojave Desert, bringing to life a dream held by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Allen died of lymphoma in October 2018, only a handful of months before his creation could take flight for the first time.

"We all know Paul would have been proud to witness today's historic achievement", Chair of Vulcan Inc. and Trustee of the Paul G. Allen Trust, Jody Allen said.

The jet is powered by the same type of engines used by Boeing 747s and is created to take off at a maximum weight 589,676 kilograms.

Its twin fuselages are 238 feet long, and the aircraft is so big, it has two cockpits - one in each fuselage - although only one is used to fly the plane.

The widest plane ever built prior to the Stratolaunch was the mid-20th-century H-4 Hercules - aka "Spruce Goose" - built by famous U.S. aviator Howard Hughes.

While Stratolaunch calls its aircraft the world's largest, other airplanes exceed it in length from nose to tail. The unusual aircraft, built by the legendary aeronautical engineering company Scaled Composites in the Mojave Desert, has two fuselages and is powered by six Boeing 747 engines.

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