The world's biggest airplane has taken its first flight

Joanna Estrada
April 15, 2019

The world's biggest aircraft has completed its maiden flight, delivering the ambitious aerospace dream of Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft who died in October. With a dual fuselages, an all-composite design and wingspan greater than the length of an American football field, the Stratolaunch aircraft took flight at 0658 PDT from the Mojave Air & Space Port.

The impressive machine spent two and a half hours in the air during the test flight, reaching speeds of 189 mph (304 km/h), not almost as much as the world's fastest supercars. As per the information provided on the Stratolaunch website, the test flight took off from Mojave Air and Space Port in California at 6:58 am Pacific Time (7:28 pm India time).

The mobile launch platform aims to enable airline-style access to space as its centre wing can support multiple launch vehicles, weighing up to a total of 500,000 pounds.

The company seeks to cash in on higher demand in coming years for vessels that can put satellites in orbit, competing in the United States with other space entrepreneurs and industry stalwarts such as Elon Musk's SpaceX and United Launch Alliance - a partnership between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Stratolaunch believes this will be more efficient than the usual approach of launching rockets from the ground.

"We all know Paul would have been proud to witness today's historic achievement", said Jody Allen, Paul's sister and chairwoman of Vulcan Inc., one of Paul Allen's companies.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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