World’s Largest Plane is Rolled Out – The Stratolaunch was rolled out of its hanger in California for the first time to begin fueling tests. This plane is designed to release the rockets into space and it’s a twin-fuselage aircraft. These rockets consist of satellites. This is the first of its kind aircraft that’s why the entire world is looking towards it.
Which company Designed This Stratolaunch Aircraft?
Paul Allen is the main person behind this project. He is the co-founder of world’s largest software company Microsoft. This Stratolaunch Systems is a subsidiary of Vulcan Aerospace and Jean Floyd is its CEO (Chief executive officer). The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and developing a new air launch to orbit system which was first of its kind.
Comparison with Current Largest Aircraft
It has a 385-foot wingspan and features six engines. Boing 747 also suing the same type of engines. This largest airplane stands 50 feet tall and can carry a cargo of more than 500000 pounds.
After reading this news you might some questions like “what is the world’s largest active plane now?”, Don’t worry we will tell the answer. The Russian Antonov An-255 is currently continuing its duties as the world’s largest plane.
This Antonov An-255 is 37 feet longer than Stratolaunch. But Stratolaunch’s wings span is huge and 95 feet longer than Russian Antonov An-255 plane.
About Its Design
The collaboration with SpaceX is ended in 2012 otherwise that company was intended to provide a liquid-fuelled rocket to serve as the means of lifting this Stratolaunch. There were a lot of speculation around its design. In the early 2013 Orbital ATK was ready to develop the Pegasus II for the Stratolaunch space vehicle launch component. But in May 2014 they announced that Pegasus II was not able to reach the expected goals, so in October 2016 it was announced that multiple” Pegasus XL rockets would be used by Stratolaunch.
The plane has a 385-foot wingspan, which makes it the largest in the world by that metric. It weighs regarding 500,000 pounds dry, but that can expand to a max takeoff weight of 1.3 million pounds.
The CEO Jean Floyd of Stratolaunch – Press Statement:
“We’re excited to announce that Stratolaunch aircraft has reached a major milestone in its journey toward providing convenient, reliable, & routine access to low Earth orbit. Today, we’re moving the Stratolaunch aircraft out of the hangar – for the first time ever – to conduct aircraft fueling tests. This marks the completion of the initial aircraft construction phase and the beginning of the aircraft ground and flight testing phase.”
Advantages of Stratolaunch
- Launch from any point to avoid unpleasant/bad weather.
- Launch from any point to knock a specific orbital shape.
- Launch from the air for a performance boost.