Published: Вс, Апреля 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Giant Stratolaunch aircraft lands initial flight

Giant Stratolaunch aircraft lands initial flight

The world's largest airplane, built by the late Paul Allen's company Stratolaunch Systems, takes off on its first test flight in Mojave, California, U.S. April 13, 2019.

"It was an emotional moment for me, personally, to watch this majestic bird take flight", Stratolaunch CEO Jean Floyd said in a phone call with reporters.

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.

As part of the initial flight, the pilots evaluated aircraft performance and handling qualities before landing successfully back at the Mojave Air and Space Port, according to the company's statement. It also conducted simulated landing approach exercises at a max altitude of 15,000 feet mean sea level. The aircraft is created to take rockets weighing as much as 400,000 pounds to 35,000 feet for launch and will tap into the burgeoning market for communications, reconnaissance and broadband satellites being put between 300 and 1,200 miles in altitude. The goal for Stratolaunch is to provide an alternative launch platform for satellites other than rockets like SpaceX's Falcon 9 or SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket-which had its first successful test flight this week as well.

Space observes say that Stratolaunch should be able to pace satellites to a height up to 35,000 feet into the stratosphere. And the payload would sit under the conjoined center wing, which is created to carry up to 500,000 pounds.

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"The rest of the satellites journey will be taken care of by the rocket's engines that would automatically get ignited".

"People are interested in the first flight of Stratolaunch because they want to see the future", he added. "It definitely was ready to fly and wanted to fly and climbed out quickly".

The test flight came after a series of taxi tests of the plane at increasing speeds, culminating with one January 10 where the plane's nose gear briefly left the ground.

The 117 meter-wide aircraft weighs 220 tons, has two connected fuselages and 28 wheels, and is powered by six Boeing 747 engines.

The Stratolaunch aircraft emerged from its Mojave hangar for the first time in May 2017 and proceeded through ground tests, including taxiing and rolling down a runway at near-takeoff speeds.

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