The plane build by The Northrop Grumman subsidiary Scaled Composites is the world’s largest plane having a wingspan of 338ft which is of a size of American football field
The plane is named as “Stratolaunch” having a weight of 50000 pounds which is mainly due to it’s twin fuse-lag design and six 747 jet engines.
The cost of the whole project is unknown but Stratolaunch is build of carbon fiber material rather than alluminium, and it reduced costs by using components originally designed for the 747.
The plane took it’s first flight on April 13 and flew over the Mojave desert for about two-and-a-half hours and attained a speed of 330 km/hr(180 miles per hour)with an attitude of about 17,000 ft.
According to Evan Thomas the test piolet of the plane said“For the most part, the plane flew as predicted,” .He previously flew F-16s for the Air Force, told CNN. “It was overall fantastic. I honestly could not have hoped for more on a first flight, especially of an airplane of this complexity and this uniqueness.”
As CNN noted, the Stratolaunch will still need to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, which will require many more test flights, before it can start launching payloads off the planet. It is also facing competition from Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit, which is using a modified Boeing 747-400 aircraft that is likely to face fewer regulatory hurdles.
The aircraft is meant to carry satellites about twice as high as this test brought it — 36,000 feet (10,970 m) — at which point it would become a mobile launch pad of sorts by releasing the satellites and their launchers into orbit. Stratolaunch would then return to the runway. this system would make satellite launches much easier and faster. That’s because there’d be no need for ground launches of rockets. Rather, Stratolaunch could take off from various runways and then fly to a spot with good weather.
At the end congratulations to all scientists engineers and pilots for successfully completing the first test flight of the world’s largest plane.