Stratolaunch took off. The first flight of the largest plane in the world.
This weekend an important tab was written in the world's aviation book. Stratolaunch, the two-fuselage aircraft, took off on the first flight. It happened on 13 April 2019, a very lucky day for Stratolaunch.
The strange plane, which is powered by 6 engines, operated a test flight near Los Angeles. It took off from the Mojave Desert and stayed in the air for about 2.5 hours. During the flight, the aircraft reached the altitude of 5182 meters and reached a maximum speed of 304 km / h.
Stratolaunch on the first flight
The strangeness of this aircraft comes from the fact that it has two fuselages and a wingspan of 117 meters. Propulsion is provided by 6 Pratt & Whitney PW4056 engines, which were taken from 2 Boeing 747-400 aircraft. The engines are located on the outer wings, 3 on each side.
Boeing 747 also took over the plane, the cockpit, the landing gear, the manufacturer reducing development costs.
So far, Stratolaunch had only soil tests. Its development was funded by the late Paul Allen, co-founder with Microsoft's Bill Gates.
The purpose of this aircraft is to launch space missiles and satellites from above 11000 meters altitude. The maximum take-off load is 589 670 kg. Empty, Stratolaunch has 226 796 kilograms.
It's a big, weird plane, criticized by some and praised by others. It's to be watched and analyzed. We expect to see its first mission, with high altitude flights, at speeds above 853 of km / h (maximum speed).