The world’s largest aircraft Stratolaunch took its first flight into the skies in California. Stratolaunch is designed to carry and deploy satellites in space.The flight has record breaking wings and is powered by twin fuselage and six 747 engines.
The mega jet carried out its maiden voyage over the Mojave desert. The unique feature of the flight is that it is designed to carry into space, and drop, a rocket that would in turn ignite to deploy satellites.
It is supposed to provide a more flexible way to deploy satellites than vertical takeoff rockets because this way all you need is a long runway for takeoff.
The Stratolaunch is do big its wing span ia longer than a football field or 1.5 times that of an Airbus A380.
It was built by an engineering company called Scaled Composites.
What makes it unique is that the wing span is 117 meters when compared to an Airbus A380, it is just under 80. The plane flew on Saturday for about two and a half hours, Stratolaunch said. Until now, it had just carried out tests on the ground.
With top speed of 304 kilometres per hour (189 mph) and reached an altitude of 17,000 feet, or 5,182 metres.
“What a fantastic first flight,” said Jean Floyd, CEO of Stratolaunch.
“Today’s flight furthers our mission to provide a flexible alternative to ground launched systems,” he added.
Stratolaunch was financed by Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft as a way to get into the market for launching small satellites. But Allen died in October of lastyear.